When one of our customers asked if we could help him pay his respects to his fallen D-day comrades, Home Instead Senior Care Bury used the power of our network of offices to help to create a great day for our Clients and a very memorable one for our franchisee Kevin Winch and Senior CAREGiver Caroline Allen.
David Teacher MBE asked HISC Bury if we could get him and his wife Nancy to HMS Belfast in London, as he wished to present them with a plaque of the order of battle for D-day as his act of remembrance for the 70th anniversary of the D-day landings. David had intended to go to Normandy to pay his respects but poor health due to the amputation of his legs, meant that he was just not well enough to go. So we used the power of our network to make it happen.
Kevin contacted Fred Mairet the franchisee at our Westminster office who went to see the crew of HMS Belfast telling them of David’s wish to visit and pay his respects. Kevin Price Chief Yeoman wrote back to us immediately with help, advice and invitation to come to pay respects. So we promptly booked the trip by train with Virgin travel assistance for the 14th of July with the confidence of the local office support if we needed it.
It was a gloriously sunny day everything went to plan. David and Nancy travelled in comfort support by their CAREGiver Caroline and Kevin. At Euston station we were helped by a wonderful London taxi driver, who was so patient and helpful who refused to take anything for his service. When we arrived at HMS Belfast they were prepared and waiting for us, David and Nancy where piped aboard. Kevin Price accepted the plaque on behalf of the IWM and we were given a VIP tour of the ship as much as David’s and Nancy’s abilities aloud.
David told of his experience of hearing Belfast‘s guns supporting him and his comrades on the beaches on D-day and the days that followed, how they heard the whoosh of her massive shells over their heads as they were called in to destroy German strongholds. David was wearing his medals and it makes an impressive sight and he was asked by other visitors to the ship about his experiences. To see David and Nancy’s smiles was a joy and a pleasure, it was a moving experience for Caroline, who a month before had offered to accompany David to Normandy and sleep on the floor, if it meant he could go. It was a very proud moment seeing them present the plaque; it really shows what can be done and how Home Instead can help clients to achieve their goals.
On a lighter note after our tour we spent a pleasant afternoon reminiscing, as Nancy told us how they started their romance on a slightly smaller ship on Heaton Park boating lake in 1940, 74 years ago when David was 16 and Nancy was 14. Only this time no-one shouted come in number 9 your times up is time.