For one resident of Sandiway Manor Residential Home, a chance meeting at the Middlewich Remembrance Service in 2019 with an Army Cadet Force (ACF) Officer has proven to be a memory difficult to forget.
World War 2 Veteran, Evan Griffiths met Captain Dawn Connor, a Training Officer with Cheshire ACF and a former Royal Logistic soldier as she proudly displayed her Bosnia service medals received in 1996. As both veterans swapped stories it was like they had known each other for years, including Evan confessing to lying about his age to join the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Evan’s age and height presented some unique problems in his early army career including driving a tank where he had to sit on a cushion to be able see!
Mandi, activity co-ordinator for Sandiway Manor asked Dawn to stay in touch as Evan started to show the early signs of dementia and she felt the connection would somehow help. Sadly, as the pandemic took hold so did Evan’s dementia yet, Evan never forgot his meeting with Dawn and was delighted to receive a video message to celebrate his 95th birthday in 2021.
As this year’s VE Day approached and the UK once again reflected in silence during another lockdown, Mandi once again reached out to Dawn. With some of the government restrictions beginning to be lifted this month Dawn was able to visit Sandiway Manor for a surprise afternoon tea, where the two veterans where once again reunited as if it was only yesterday.
As the other residents saw Dawn in military uniform, they also started to exchange their experiences from the War and why VE Day was such a poignant day for those who remembered who have served and have given their life, recognising the ultimate sacrifice.
Gemma Stott, Administration Manager said "Providing a positive, enriched and stimulating environment is so important for our resident’s wellbeing and cognitive functions. Understanding our resident’s history, interests and hobbies enables us to tailor an individual experience, personal to them. Everyone in the home benefits from these experiences, staff and residents alike"