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Local Heroes Honoured In The Royal Star & Garter Home, Solihull


SEPTEMBER 2013 ­- The Royal Star & Garter Home in Solihull values its place in the community and wanted to reflect this in the naming of its nursing wings. It is proud to announce the names selected for each of the wings.


As part of the Life Letters project to mark The Royal Star & Garter Homes’ centenary in 2016, a competition was held to find military heroes from the Solihull community whose names would be given to the wings of the Solihull Home. The community was invited to nominate local Service men and women for their heroism, whether in combat or by overcoming disability. The response was enthusiastic and, after a rigorous selection process, three inspirational people were chosen to have a wing named after them.


The Ground Floor East has been named the ‘Linley Wing’ after Staff Sergeant Brett Linley GM of the British Army. Brett Linley was born in Solihull and joined the Army as an Ammunition Technician (Bomb Disposal Officer). He was deployed as a High Threat Officer to Afghanistan, where he died attempting to disarm his sixth device of the day on 17 July 2010. He was posthumously awarded the George Medal. Staff Sergeant Linley’s family are pleased that the son of whom they are so proud will be recognised in this way. Mrs Linley said: “It is such an honour and another way of remembering Brett, as we do every day.”


The First Floor West has been named the ‘Whiteley Wing’, after Flight Lieutenant John Whiteley DFC AE BA of the Royal Air Force. John served in Bomber Command during the Second World War and was posted to 619 Squadron in early 1944. In autumn 1945, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for operations over Germany.  John Whiteley was a much-loved resident of the Solihull Home from 2009 to 2012.


The First Floor East has been named the ‘Croucher Wing’ after Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher GC of the Royal Marines Reserve. Matthew was also born in Solihull. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 attached as a Reconnaissance Operator and Heavy Weapons Specialist to 40 Commando. During one mission, he dived on top of a trip-wired grenade to save the lives of his men. Matthew Croucher is one of only a few living recipients of the George Cross Medal.


The name plaques were unveiled by the Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Joe Tildesley, on 16 September 2013, at a ceremony attended by our Chairman of Governors, Vice Admiral Sir John Dunt, and by residents, family and friends. The Mayor commented: “It was a privilege to unveil the name plaques at The Royal Star & Garter Home and to share the ceremony with the families and residents.  The Royal Star & Garter Home is a valued part of our community and we are proud that our local heroes are commemorated in this way.”


The Solihull Home’s state-of-the-art dementia wing has already been named the Roundel Wing, in tribute to the RAF insignia, following a generous donation from the Royal Airforce Benevolent Fund (RAFBF).