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Newfield Lodge Residents Reminisce About Their VE Day Memories

Published: Wednesday 6th May 2020

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Residents at Newfield Lodge care home, in Castleford, have been reminiscing about their memories of VE Day to mark the 75th anniversary of the event this week.

The home is set to celebrate with a 1940’s style afternoon tea party, where residents will perform a rendition of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ live on Facebook for their friends and family.

Barbara Mills, 88, who joined Newfield lodge in 2018 said, ‘I can remember the war so clearly.  My father had to serve in the Navy and was away for nearly 5 years, we missed him dearly and would always worry about his safety. I can recall standing looking out of our backdoor watching bombs fall down onto houses, it was such a horrendous time – however, when it was all over the only emotion I could feel was joy. It was so liberating knowing you were able to safely walk down the streets and not live in fear of the sirens going off’.

Leonard Russell, aged 87, said, ‘I served our country during the war, I joined the RAF to complete my national service. As a child, I was taught Morse code by my boy scout leader and that knowledge helped me to become a Morse code expert during the war and I would intercept messages from the Russians’.

‘I can remember returning home from my time in the RAF when the war was finished and I couldn’t stop hugging my family and friends, it was such an emotional time.’.

Phillip Scott, aged 85, said, ‘I was also in the RAF serving my country as part of the national service. It was my job to service the aircraft before they took to flight, it was a very meticulous process and I learnt a lot’.

‘When the war ended, I can remember the street parties that lasted weeks, people just could not stop celebrating.  I know that I certainly didn’t stop partying with my friends for some time after!’.

Thomas Slater, who has lived at Newfield Lodge since 2017, said, ‘I remember signing up for the RAF at 17 years of age to work on the Wellington Bombers and Coastal Command. I made lots of lifelong friends during my time in the RAF. VE Day was a bittersweet moment for me, as I was not able to return home from duty straight away.  Following the war, I spent a further nine months in Jamaica in the Infantry. I wanted to be back home with my friends and family celebrating in the streets and painting the town red!’.

Emily Waugh, Lifestyle Manager at Newfield Lodge, said, ‘Our residents have such fantastic memories and stories from their experiences during the war and VE Day. It has been inspiring to hear of their sacrifices and triumphs and share these stories with one another. We are excited to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day ‘virtually’ with our friends and family who cannot be with us in the home later this week’.

Newfield Lodge is operated by Ideal Carehomes and recently achieved a ‘Good’ rating for a second time by the Care Quality Commission. All 64 bedrooms at the residential care home are en-suite, enabling staff to deliver dignified and person-centred care. Boasting spacious lounges, a hair salon and cinema room, residents enjoy a full programme of health, leisure and wellbeing activities, managed by a dedicated lifestyle manager. To contact Newfield Lodge, please call Lynn on 01977 522 508 or click here.  To follow the home on Facebook and join in with the live singalong, click here.