Families gather to honour military heroes at new Veterans’ care home

Relatives of local military veterans have gathered to see their loved ones celebrated at The Royal Star & Garter Home in High Wycombe.

The Charity named floors after four heroes from the High Wycombe and surrounding areas and held a special ceremony on 23 May 2019.

Frank Adams, Anthony ‘Bugs’ Bendell AFC OBE, Edward Brooks VC and Lettice Curtis have all been honoured at the state-of-the-art care home. Their relatives – and VIPs including the Lord Lieutenant for Buckinghamshire Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher and High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire Julia Upton MBE – were taken to see the framed citation and photo of their loved one during a tour of the £25m home.

Relatives of those honoured later spoke of their pride.

Karen Robinson, granddaughter of Frank Adams, said: “The Home is wonderful. It’s beautiful and calming and I think it will make residents feel very special and cared for. The facilities are amazing. I think it’s a great honour to have his [Frank Adams] name here. He’s mainly known for football, but this will mean he’s recognised for his war history and service in the RAF.”

Emma Bendell, daughter of Bugs Bendell, said: “I’m incredibly proud. He had a great deal of desire to come to this Home and it’s lovely that he will be here forever in spirit. I think he would be secretly delighted.”

Keith Brooks, grandson of Edward Brooks, said: “It’s brilliant here, the attention to detail is the main thing, they seem to have thought of everything. I think this is brilliant tribute to my grandfather and to all other veterans who have served their country.”

Tish Peal, niece of Lettice Curtis, said: “I think the Home is amazing. I imagine it’s a really lovely place to come and stay.” And on the floor being named after her aunt, she added: “I think it’s terrific. It’s very fitting to see her honoured here. She had a tough time in her generation, being a woman and not being recognised for her achievements, so this is very special.”

Sir Henry, the Lord Lieutenant for Buckinghamshire, said: “It gives me great pleasure to witness the opening of this new facility, providing residential care and respite for Buckinghamshire veterans and their partners including those living with disability or dementia. It is an asset to the county and to our Armed Forces veterans, to whom we all owe a great debt.”.

The High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, Julia Upton MBE, said: “I am truly delighted to see such a wonderful home being created for the care of disabled veterans and their partners. When people have served their country, often undertaking very dangerous tasks to protect others, it is our duty to care for them. The staff at The Royal Star & Garter Home will ensure they live their lives to the full, with the comfort to know they will always be cared for.”

The Royal Star & Garter Homes Chairman Major General Tim Tyler said: “It is a privilege to name our floors after people who served their country with courage and distinction. Their names and deeds will always be remembered here, and we are delighted to pay them this tribute.”

The 74-room home cares for ex-Servicemen and women living with disability or dementia, and welcomed its first residents in April. For more information on residency, email hw.enquiries@starandgarter.org or call 020 7451 9777.

Alternatively, visit starandgarter.org/our-homes-and-care/types-of-care/eligibility-how-to-apply

Who’s Been Honoured?

The four men and women were chosen after members of the public put forward the names of people with strong links to the military and the local area in the Charity’s Who’s Your Hero Competition. The Charity wanted to celebrate and remember their deeds at its new Home. The Home’s floors are named after:

Frank Adams

Adams House is named after Frank Adams, a hugely influential figure in High Wycombe. He served in the Army and then the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War, and in the RAF following the outbreak of the Second World War. The ground floor will be named after him.

Frank is perhaps best known for his connection with Wycombe Wanderers Football Club (WWFC), whom he played for and captained either side of the First World War. Following the Second World War, he purchased Loakes Park, the home ground of WWFC and handed over the deeds of the land in 1947. Frank was made Patron, and its new stadium, which the club moved to in 1990, is named Adams Park after its benefactor.

The club remains in the family’s blood. Frank Adams’ son, Jack Adams, was Patron of Wycombe Wanderers. Granddaughter Karen Robinson is Honorary President of Wycombe Wanderers Trust (owners of WWFC), Honorary President and Director of the Frank Adams Legacy Ltd, which own the stadium, and Trustee of Wycombe Wanderers Sports and Education Trust, the charitable arm of the club.

Anthony ‘Bugs’ Bendell AFC OBE

Bendell House is named after Wing Commander Anthony ‘Bugs’ Bendell, who lived at the Charity’s Richmond and then Surbiton Homes. He was ranked among the RAF’s most skilled and talented pilots during the Cold War period. Bugs and his wife Jules were local to High Wycombe, and together they played an active part in life at the Surbiton Home and key events, such as the ground-breaking ceremony for the High Wycombe Home. Bugs had hoped to be one of the first residents but sadly died in 2016. The first floor of the new Home will be known as Bendell House.

Edward Brooks VC

Brooks House is named in honour of First World War hero Edward Brooks, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for “most conspicuous bravery” under enemy fire when he single-handedly captured a German machine gun post firing on the infantry troops in trenches near Fayet, France, on 28 April, 1917. His VC citation read that “he undoubtedly prevented many casualties.”

Edward was born in Oakley, Buckinghamshire and went on to serve in the 2 /4th Battalion, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. The second floor of the new Home will be known as Brooks House.

Lettice Curtis

Curtis House is the Home’s specialist dementia centre, and is named after pioneering pilot Lettice Curtis. She served with the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) which was responsible for ferrying military aircraft to locations such as airfield and frontline squadrons during the Second World War. Lettice ferried an astonishing 1,467 aircraft during the conflict, and is widely regarded as the first woman to qualify to fly a four-engined bomber in the UK. She lived in Twyford and White Waltham, near High Wycombe, for many years before her death in 2014, aged 99.

Related links:

Care home names floors after local heroes: starandgarter.org/press-release/new-high-wycombe-care-home-heroes

High Wycombe Home welcomes first resident: starandgarter.org/press-release/high-wycombe-first-resident

For further information please contact:

Michelle Danks

Senior Marketing & Communications Manager

E;michelle.danks@starandgarter.org

t: 0208 481 7691 / 07876 838595

Cally Madden

Marketing & Communications Manager

e: cally.madden@starandgarter.org

t: 020 8481 7692 / 07881 017299

About The Royal Star & Garter Homes:

The Charity provides award-winning care for military veterans and their partners who live with disability or dementia.

The Royal Star & Garter Homes is a charity founded in 1916 to care for the severely injured men returning from the battlegrounds of the First World War.

Today our friendly, state-of-the-art Homes offer a pioneering approach to nursing, dementia and therapeutic care. We have award-winning Homes in Solihull, West Midlands and Surbiton, Surrey. Our third Home in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, opened in April 2019.

We continue to expand our services to reach even more veterans. In 2018, we were able to support 186 residents in our Homes and 36 guests at our Day Care service. We also offer interim care for young disabled Service personnel. We provided 11,700 individual sessions of physiotherapy and speech & language therapy last year to support our residents’ health, and over 5,600 places to residents for activities, outings and events, to promote well-being.

We are proud to have enjoyed Royal patronage since our foundation, including that of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II from 1953 to the present day.

Twitter: @starandgarter

Facebook: facebook.com/starandgarter

Website: www.starandgarter.org

The Royal Star & Garter Homes is a member of the National Care Forum – the leading voice for not-for-profit care providers. A national perspective may be available from info@nationalcareforum.org.uk or by contacting 02476243619. More details on NCF available at www.nationalcareforum.org.uk.

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