11 August 2017 – Residents, family, staff and volunteers at The Royal Star & Garter Home in Surbiton joined together to celebrate much-loved resident Violet’s 103rd birthday.
The Home, which cares for disabled veterans and their spouses, made sure it was a party to remember with giant balloons, a spectacular cake and music. Violet, known affectionately as Vi, was thrilled to receive a personal birthday message from ‘Forces Sweetheart’ Dame Vera Lynn.
Vi grew up in Putney and married her husband William, known to her as Ben, in 1938 after meeting him at a dance. The couple went on to have two children together, Colin and Bruce. Ben served in the Army and was sent to France where he was involved in the D-Day landings of 1944. Ben’s body was discovered on 19 June 1944, two weeks after the D-Day landings’ and was buried at Tilly-sur-Seulles.
After Ben died, Vi worked hard, maintaining many jobs to support her sons, including working for Marks & Spencer. Vi recalls her time working for the company with great affection and the Surbiton store still keep in touch with Vi to this day.
Vi’s son, Colin, made a heartfelt speech at the celebrations and praised the Charity for helping Vi retain her well-being, “My mother’s good health is thanks to the great care she receives at The Royal Star & Garter Homes. What better place could she be?”
Activities Co-ordinator, Carla, who organised the party in honour of Vi, remarked: “Vi is a remarkable woman and is loved by everyone. She radiates warmth and she is such a character – always charming, always very witty. Vi is always the first to get involved with activities in the Home and loves a good party. Everyone at The Royal Star & Garter Homes wishes her a wonderful 103rd birthday.”