The Granby Care Home in Harrogate recently held some special events to commemorate Armistice Day. This year it was especially important as Remembrance Sunday marked 100 years since the end of the First World War.
Several of our residents had parents, siblings or close family members who took active part in WWI, and many of them were active themselves in WW2, so they all had stories to share from their experiences. We made sure that this day was particularly memorable to pay our respects and commemorate this important occasion.
On the morning of Remembrance Sunday, residents, friends, relatives and team members gathered in our spacious TV Lounge to watch the Armistice Service at the cenotaph, and joined in with the hymns and prayers.
We then planted our very own ‘Remembrance Tree’ to mark the occasion, and the residents were delighted to take part in a modest tree-planting ceremony. Residents also made a memorial wreath, silk poppies to wear, and wooden crosses, kindly made by a friend of the Granby, were then used by residents to write their own personal dedications on the reverse. The wreath and crosses were laid at the foot of our tree as residents looked on from the home.
We are going to make this an annual ceremony, every Remembrance Sunday. In addition, residents can also use this tree to mark their own personal remembrance anniversaries for whatever and whoever they choose. It means there’s always an accessible yet private place of reflection for everyone living at The Granby and our residents are really pleased to have been part of it. RHS Harlow Carr Garden in Harrogate kindly donated a tree – Liquidambar Styracifluea ‘Thea’ – common name Sweet Gum. We chose to have a tree which would always be at its best at this time of year – with beautiful red and amber leaves (similar to a maple), for everyone’s enjoyment every Autumn from now on.
Two days later we were entertained by The Bluebirds, who performed their Remembrance Special show ‘We’ll Meet Again’ in our grand Crystal Ballroom for everybody to enjoy. They wore wonderful wartime outfits which brought back many memories from that era for our residents.
All in all, we are proud to have marked this significant landmark Remembrance Sunday with some extra special events that we can enjoy for many years to come.
Briony Spandler, Magic Moments Club Co-ordinator said, “We are very lucky to have a number of residents in our home who saw action in WWII. They have some truly remarkable stories to tell. A Lancaster bomber navigator; a fighter pilot; Secret Service officers; soldiers. We have been moved and humbled by the sacrifices they made for us and our country, their true stories about being prisoners of war; escaping from prison camps; spending weeks at sea in lifeboats – just a few examples. Those with relatives who were in WWI had many moving and heart wrenching stories to share. It is important to remember all our fallen, but we made sure that this Armistice Day was extra special.”