VE Day

Care Home Creates Museum Based On Residents’ Wartime Experiences

The museum is made up of care home residents’ photographs, letters and military uniforms.

A care home has paid tribute to its residents by creating a museum made up of artefacts from their wartime experiences.

Staff at Anchor’s St Marys care home, in Ipswich, collected letters, old photographs and military uniforms from people living at the home and their families.

To help mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the collection has been made available to view online.

Kristy Smith, Manager at Anchor’s St Marys care home, said it is "lovely to see residents engaging with their past in such a personal way."

"I am so proud of the museum, and how it has evolved with input from residents, relatives and colleagues," she said.

"Our residents have been so involved and loved every minute, building aeroplanes and decorating the home."

Ipswich care home create museum based on residents war time experiences
The museum is made up of artefacts collected from its residents and their families (Picture: Anchor Hanover).

As well as being a way to bring residents together, the initiative has uncovered some incredible wartime tales.

One of the residents, Rosemary Martin, who is now 98 years old, was just 19 when she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) and played a role plotting British bombers as they left the coast.

Ms Martin said she entered the "WAAF a girl and came out a woman."

"It was so disciplined, we all worked together, and I’m proud to have supported the country," she said.

Beryl Burley, now aged 93, worked in the Cadena Cafe in Gloucester with her younger sister Sylvia.

They enjoyed chatting to American servicemen who frequented the cafe, and who supplied the sisters with nylons and items that were hard to get hold of during wartime.

Ms Burley continued working at the cafe after the war ended and she met her husband there.

Plenty more stories and artefacts are included in the collection.

To mark VE Day, the care home also celebrated with wartime-inspired food, films, dances and poetry readings.

Cover image: Anchor Hanover.