For many older people, the Normandy Landings (June 1944) were not so much an event in history, as a lived reality still remembered. To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the landmark Second World War operation, residents and staff at The Elms care home, in Crewe, held a wartime themed celebration; dressing up in 1940s’ style fashion and decorating the CLS-run home to match.
The day was filled with breath-taking stories and shared memories of WWII. 88-year-old Cyril Poste (pictured), originally from Sussex, was stationed in India where he served as a code-breaker for the Royal Corps of Signals. He recalled: “Those were difficult years – when you awoke in the morning, you didn’t know if you’d be going to bed again that night.
“Yet there were good times too. You made friends with people you would never otherwise have met, and everyone really pulled together – there was a strong sense of camaraderie and no one ever talked of defeat.”
85-year-old Betty Ellis (pictured) added: “It means a great deal to spend time remembering those days. They had a huge impact on our lives; and hearing everyone’s stories, and seeing all the old outfits and newspaper clippings has brought it all flooding back.”
The home was decorated in a bright array of colourful bunting, and a special display was made of old memorabilia and wartime posters. Residents were also treated to a themed afternoon tea of Glory Buns and Wartime Loaf; and an entertainer led everyone in a round of popular wartime tunes; from Keep the Home Fires Burning to Run Rabbit Run.
Home Manager, Helen Clark, commented: “Many of our residents still remember the D-Day Landings, and we felt it was important to mark such a significant anniversary. It’s amazing to listen to their stories of life during the war years – nearly everyone has something to share.”