REMINISCENCE THERAPY AGE UK

More on our Age UK Reminiscence Therapy sessions in Oxfordshire

 

Old soldiers share memories of service and sacrifice
As reported by mark taylor in the Oxford Mail today June 12th 2013

Age UK

SIX weeks ago they were strangers left with their memories.

Now they are friends with real ties.

A series of military reminiscence sessions ended with a party in Didcot yesterday as former servicemen and women swapped tales of life in uniform.

The Age UK sessions have been credited with helping old soldiers come to terms with their experiences decades later.

Old newspapers, photographs, uniforms and other props are used to stir memories.

Even those punished by war to the point of recluse came out of their shells.

Rymans Court sheltered housing in Britwell Road, Didcot, was the venue for the final military reminiscence event of a six-week pilot project.

It was a raucous day as the group of about 30 men and women chatted like old friends over tea and cake.

Royal Engineer Ronald Frampton, of Rymans Court, regaled wartime stories of his brother Laurie, who also served as a Sapper in the Corps of Royal Engineers.

Mr Frampton was in the temporary establishment of engineer services, having joined in Devizes, and served in Africa where he helped build hospitals and radar towers.

The 92-year-old said: “We were on leave here in 1942, he was a devil of a chap.

“It’s a great day to come out and meet everyone here. You get to meet so many people, and talk about old times too.

“We’re all really grateful for everyone who has helped put this on, I’ve made a lot of new friends.

“It’s not something you ever think about when you’re fighting in war, what will happen afterwards.”

Rymans Court resident Betty Smith was 15 when the Second World War broke out.

She enjoyed tea with Freda Douglas, of Didcot, and told how she was called up to serve as a ship’s electrician in Southampton.

The 88-year-old said: “We trained for four weeks and then they let us loose on the ships; it was a crazy time but we saw so much. Coming here has given me a chance to meet people and find out more about what other people went through.

“Hearing other tales is always a lovely thing because you know you all went through something similar.”

Community psychiatric nurse officer Graham Bandy, of D Detachment 202 M Field Hospital in Abingdon is the man behind the Living Military History events.

He said: “It is a joy to see the change in some of the old soldiers as they open up.

“We’ve had one man who at first wouldn’t speak at all, now he is completely out of his shell, laughing, joking with people.”

He helped co-ordinate the day with Ruth Swift and Karen Thomas from Age UK Oxfordshire who bid for funding from the Civilian Military Partnership Forum to run the events.

For more information on our Reminiscence Therapy sessions and how we can help with projects in your area please contact us. 

Living Military History and Age UK providing Reminiscence Therapy in Oxfordshire

Age UK

Today was the last of our 6 sessions with Age UK and the veterans of Oxfordshire as mentioned in a previous blog post

http://livingmilitaryhistory.co.uk/Blog/2013/04/02/working-with-age-uk/.

It has been a successful series of session for all concerned. Well done to Karen Thomas of Age UK Oxfordshire for bringing it all together. All we need now is some funding to be able to roll the programme out further!

BFBS British Forces News came along today and there’s a video on their website.

Watch Video here:

Age UK Reminiscence Therapy

Age UK Reminiscence Therapy

This is what they had to say:

“A pilot project that brings serving troops and elderly veterans together to reminisce about wartime experiences could be rolled out across Britain.

It is designed to give the veterans companionship as well as therapy to combat forgetfulness and other mental health issues faced in old age.

The programme’s expansion now depends on finding new funding.”

Interviewees:
Corporal Peter Humphrey, RAF Veteran,
Private James Lindsay, 4 Logistic Support Regiment
Graham Bandy, TA Nursing Officer
Corporal Mark Copperwheat, RAF

For more information about our Reminiscence Therapy Sessions or to find out how we can help you set up similar projects, please contact us.

 

 

 

Second World War Propoganda Posters released into Public Domain on Wikimedia

Thanks to a partnership with Wikimedia UK, the National Archives has been able to digitise and release into the public domain over 350 images from our collection of almost 2,000 original artworks by war artists working for the Ministry of Information during the Second World War. We hope we will eventually be able to release the whole collection.

This project aims to make the best possible use of these images across Wikimedia projects and ultimately to link The National Archives’ catalogue back to definitive information on Commons. We have done some very basic categorisation of these images but we know very little about some of the artists and many of the works are anonymous.

Here’s a selection of some of the artwork ranging from encouragement to lend a hand on the land, to saving bones for scrap and taking care in the blackout.  More of the collection can be found here.

INF3-101 Food Production Lend a hand with the potato harvest (workers in basket)

INF3-104 Food Production Lend a hand on the land Whatever your front line job Artist Showell

INF3-111 Forces Recruitment Skilled hands are needed - join the RAF Artist Grey

INF3-115 Forces Recruitment ATS the job for you

INF3-120 Forces Recruitment ATS and WAAF

INF3-137 War Effort And they will say This was our finest hour Artist Pat Keely

INF3-160 Fighting Fit in the Factory Artist A R Thomson

INF3-164 Britain expects that you too, this day, will do your duty Artist Forster

INF3-176 Fuel Economy Turn that gas down

INF3-195 Fuel Economy The worker who left the lights on - don't be fuel-ish (woman factory worker) Artist H M Bateman

INF3-207 Salvage Salvage saves Shipping (torpedoed ship sinking) Artist E Oliver

INF3-217 Salvage Still more bones needed for salvage (rag and bone man with dog) Artist Gilroy

INF3-225 Make do and mend (Stuffed doll figure patching cloth)

INF3-231 Anti-rumour and careless talk Be like dad - keep mum! (set of twelve human figures talking) Artist Grimes

INF3-280 Health Diphtheria is deadly - protect your child by immunisation Artist J H Dowd

INF3-293 Road safety Look out in the blackout - think before you cross the road Artist Pat Keely

Anniversary of VE Day – 8th May 1945

On the anniversary of VE Day I have been taking a look at some old newsreel of the celebrations and trying to imagine what it must have been like to hear the news and know that a six year nightmare was nearly at an end.

But try as I might, I find that it is almost easier to imagine what it must have felt like to be “at war” than what it must have felt like on the 8th May 1945 when you knew that, at least in Europe, the war was over.

These scenes captured by Pathe and shown in cinemas in a special extended Pathe Gazette, can only provide a snapshot of the “spontaneous” celebrations.  A series of black and white newsreel shots, many set up for the camera, which are now such familiar images we almost take them for granted.

But inside each and every head in the crowd are memories of hardship, pain and fear, grief for loved ones lost, lives on hold, homes and families destroyed, friendships made, courage, relief, disbelief, joy and so much more – such intensity and variety of emotions that there isn’t a word which encapsulates it all.

With luck it is a word we will never need to define again.

The Fruits of Victory, 1945, Pathe Gazette

THE FRUITS OF VICTORY

 

RAF Airfields of World War 2 by Jonathan Falconer

RAF Airfields of World War 2 by Jonathan Falconer

A complete and unique single-volume illustrated reference book covering all of the RAF’s frontline airfields in the UK during World War 2.

RAF AIRFIELDS OF WORLD WAR 2 by Jonathan Falconer

RAF AIRFIELDS OF WORLD WAR 2 by Jonathan Falconer

 

For all those interested in the activities of the RAF during the Second World War, RAF Airfields of World War 2 provides comprehensive information about all the frontline RAF airfields in Britain, including all the RAF Fighter, Bomber, Coastal and Transport Command airfields and bases of the period.

This fascinating books provides a short history of each airfield, first-person accounts and information on airfield buildings and is illustrated with photographs and maps.

Chapters also take a look at airfield construction and organisation, orders of battle for each command at notable points of the war.  Of great interest are the tabular listings of RAF frontline airfields, which provide full details of location and user squadrons/units.

Present-day usage of the airfields and the buildings is also covered.

Of great interest also are the first-hand accounts by veterans of the four wartime Commands add a layer of compelling personal testimony to the book.

The author originally published two books on RAF Fighter and Bomber airfields of World War 2 in the early 1990s, which are now out of print, but this book contains significantly new text and illustrations as well as covering RAF Coastal and Transport Command for the first time.

RAF Airfields of World War 2 by Jonathan Falconer was published in January 2013

 

1940s Day for The British Legion at Weyhill Fairground Craft & Design Centre

Living Military History visit Weyhill Fairground Craft & Design Centre, Near Andover for a 1940s day in aid of The Royal British Legion on Saturday 4th May. 

Graham Bandy WW2

Daytime:
Vehicle Displays, Re-enactors, Make Do & Mend
Dance Lessons and 1940s style
Make-over’s, Vintage Fair, Childrens Activities.

Evening Entertainment:
Grand Nostalgia Dance 7.30pm,Tickets £7.50 in advance £10 on the night

All proceeds for the Royal British Legion.

The Fairground Craft & Design Centre is a “not for profit” Community Interest Company.
It aims to promote, support, educate, involve and develop public awareness, within the framework of art and crafts.

Previously run by Penton Grafton Parish Council, it first opened its doors in Weyhill, Hampshire in October 2003.  Open to the public,  it is now a Community Interest Company, run by volunteers and tenants for the benefit of the community.

Find out more about the history of the Fairground here.

The Weyhill Fairground Craft & Design Centre
Weyhill
Nr Andover
SP11 0QN
Google Map

Weyhill Fairground Craft & Design Centre

Weyhill Fairground Craft & Design Centre

Sisters, Secrets and Sacrifice – Two brave women who led double lives in Nazi occupied France

Sisters, Secrets and Sacrifice: The True Story of WWII Special Agents Eileen and Jacqueline Nearne

By Susan Ottaway.

What must life have been like for two young women plucked from their ordinary lives and transformed into SEO Agents fighting the Nazis in occupied France?  And what was life like when the war was over and it was time to pick up where they left off?

It is over seventy years since the start of the Second World War and there are still so many awe inspiring tales to be told.

This new book tells the story of two amazing women. Sisters in arms who faced unimaginable danger, and made astonishing sacrifices, the effects of which were to last long after they returned to civvy street.

False identities, hidden radios, secret messages – all the stuff of Hollywood films. But what followed was the sickening reality of capture, torture and hard labour in a German concentration camp –  experiences not many would have had the strength and courage to survive.

Their hidden contribution to the war effort cost them their youth, their chances of motherhood and almost cost them their sanity. They were remarkable women who went on to lead modest lives, keeping their heroic past to themselves.

Now it is time for the inspirational story of these two brave sisters to be told.

Sisters, Secrets and Sacrifice: The True Story of WWII Special Agents Eileen and Jacqueline Nearne by Susan Ottaway is published by Harper Element and you can order your copy now.  Sisters, Secrets and Sacrifice also available for Kindle.

 

PATHE NEWSREEL – OCCUPIED PARIS
And for a look inside occupied Paris during WW2 take a look at this Pathe Newsreel It Happened in Paris (1944).

 

At great danger, Pathe cameraman Gaston Madru concealed his film camera in a bicycle basket under a pile of wine bottles and then rode through the streets of Nazi occupied Paris. He filmed Nazi flags flying from buildings and offices of the German Slave Labour Todt organisation. There are shots of a cinema for German soldiers only, German officers at the races and a Nazi rally at City hall.

We see Nazis in the heart of Paris – at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and the Arc De Triomphe. We also see ordinary Parisians queuing for bread and fighting breaking out in the streets as they object to the Nazi presence.

And then as the long occupation nears its end, we see German troops  on the retreat, resistance posters being put up and celebrations as the French flag is once more able to fly freely .

 

Living Military History on TV: Country House Sunday

Ragley Hall Warwickshire Living Military History

Ragley Hall,  Warwickshire

Living Military History were on TV last week in ITV’s new series Country House Sunday made by TwoFourProductions.

The show featured The Warwickshire Regiment 1914-1918 Living History Group at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire, family seat of Lord and Lady Hertford, for a Great War weekend Event. The Warwick’s gave a fine display for the visitors and the camera crew which featured in this new TV series.

The medical display was also featured and according to Lynda Bellingham’s voice-over, its Medical Officer was “perfectly placed for complete historical accuracy”.

This episode is available to view on ITVPlayer until the end of May.

Graham Bandy WW1 Display - Country House Sunday Ragley Hall 28 april 2013

WW1 Display at Ragley Hall

This Daytime series sees Lynda Bellingham take a tour around some of Britain’s most beautiful stately homes.

Lynda and her team of presenters and chefs explore the very best that the house and estate have to offer, unpicking their rich history, revealing their secrets and uncovering life both upstairs and downstairs from cooking in the kitchens to tending the grounds.

The series also features the beauty of the local countryside, afternoon walks, antiques and days out at markets rounding off each episode with a hearty Sunday lunch.

For more on the history of some of the wonderful Stately Homes of England or inspiration for more great days out, why not invest in one of the handy pocket guides available such as the AA’s Great Days Out

Living Military History – Wartime in The Cotswolds at Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway

Pitsford Home Guard

Pitsford Home Guard

This weekend Pitsford Home Guard  will be at The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Honeybourne Line for their Wartime in the Cotswolds event.  The Home Guard will be setting up camp at Gotherington and look forward to seeing you there!

Pitsford Home Guard

Pitsford Home Guard

During the wartime weekend there’ll be plenty of opportunity to travel the line between Cheltenham Race Course and Toddington (air raids permitting) when they’ll be operating an intensive steam-hauled timetable.

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Toddington

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway

There’ll be lots of other things to keep the whole family entertained with wartime music,  soldiers on leave and on duty;  the auxiliary fire service and displays of military and civilian vehicles from the period. The extensive model railway will also be up and running.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Dakota will be visiting the railway on Sunday 28th April, subject to weather and operational considerations. The low-altitude flypast is expected between 2pm and 3pm.

Free parking is available at Toddington and Cheltenham Race Course stations. Please note Winchcombe Station will be closed.

Gates open at 0930 on both days.

Fares for this event:

Adult £20, senior £18, child (aged 5 – 15) £10, family ticket (2 adults and up to three children) £55.

Tickets can now only be purchased on the day at Toddington or Cheltenham Racecourse stations.

A copy of the timetable for the event can be downloaded here.

 

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Search for Relatives

Commonwealth War Graves

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission intends to carry out work on a number of the War Graves in the UK.

They wish to make contact with any family members of the casualties concerned.

If you are a relative of any of the casualties listed here please contact:

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Jenton Road
Sydenham
Leamington Spa
Warwickshire
CV31 1XS
E-Mail: ukaoffice@cwgc.org
Tel: 01926 330137