care home resident, Margaret Jones, has been reminiscing about her memories of VE Day to mark the 75th anniversary of the event.
The home celebrated the day with a 1940’s style afternoon tea party, where residents performed a moving rendition of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ live on Facebook for their friends and family.
Margaret, aged 83, recalls the war very well. Her school in the East End of London had many children with surnames she had never heard before. It was not until she was older, she realised those children had fled from Nazi camps in Germany and other European countries.
Margaret remembers how her father was exempt from being called to duty as he worked as a Co-op Cobbler and was needed to fix boots for soldiers. Margaret’s mother worked in her home village of Hornbury at Sykes Factory, which later became the famous sporting brand, Slazenger. Before the war, Margaret’s mother worked to stitch footballs and make other sporting equipment, however, during the war she helped to make weapon cases for soldiers.
At aged 7, Margaret was delighted when her family decided to invite an evacuee to stay with them until the end of the war. Margaret said, ‘I was very excited to be inviting an evacuee! She was called Georgina and we became like sisters; she would often receive parcels from her mother in Kent of matching dresses she made for us both, so we looked even more like sisters then, I loved it!’.
The girls became best friends and outside of school and church would get up to mischief, Margaret said, ‘I can remember we used to chase each other and the neighbourhood children around the air raid shelters and jump out at each other in our mickey mouse gas masks!’.
When the war ended, Margaret’s family travelled to Kent to ensure the safe arrival of Georgina and the families celebrated VE Day together. Margaret said, ‘Our families had become very close during the war as we would often send lengthy letters and pictures to keep in contact. It was a fantastic party, we all dragged tables into the street and everybody celebrated together with all the food from their cupboards. We even had bananas and other exotic fruits that were very rare during the war’.
Following the war, the best friends kept in touch. Margaret said, ‘Gina was very extraverted, whereas I was very shy. She helped to bring me out of my shell and make new friends. I owe a lot to her for that and I missed her terribly following the war. I haven’t heard from her in recent times and I hope that she has had a wonderful life and remembers me too’.
Lifestyle Manager at Ashworth Grange, Collette Senior, said, ‘It has been an incredibly emotional afternoon listening to Margaret’s stories from the war and her memories from VE Day. I feel very fortunate to be able to spend time with our residents and help them to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day’.
is operated by Ideal Carehomes
and has been awarded a ‘Good’ rating 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 Ashworth Grange, please call 01924 869 970 or click here