The Royal Star & Garter Homes attends National Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey

The Charity’s Head of Fundraising Catherine Williams and Marketing & Communications Manager Cally Madden attended the service following an invitation from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

It comes after The Royal Star & Garter Homes received £10,000 funding from the HLF for its own Centenary project in 2016.

The Charity was founded in 1916 to care for severely injured young men returning from battlegrounds of the First World War.

The HLF grant helped the Charity produce its special Centenary Book in 2016, which encapsulated its 100-year history. The Centenary project also saw historic artefacts associated with The Royal Star & Garter Homes displayed at a special six-month exhibition at The Museum of Richmond, and talks given to schools and community groups to help raise the profile of the Charity and the First World War.

Cally and Catherine were among 300 people connected with HLF Centenary projects from across the UK to attend the service.

Following the service, Catherine said: “When we sought funding for the Charity’s Centenary project from the HLF, we never imagined it would provide such an amazing opportunity to be present at this historic Armistice service and we are so thankful for the opportunity to share this moment in time. We both found it an emotive and thought-provoking experience.”

Cally added: “Both Catherine and I felt extremely privileged to represent the Charity at the Service. It was a truly moving event and gave us time to reflect on the lives of our residents, past and present, and all they have given for our country. Working on the Centenary Book to share some of those past stories was an equal privilege and we are extremely grateful to the HLF for funding the project.”

The Centenary Book features stories of courage and determination, beautifully illustrated through photos, sketches and letters.

It includes stories such as ‘The Flying Squad’, pictured, whose customised motorised wheelchairs were a familiar sight around Richmond Hill. Famous visitors to the Home, such as the Royal Family and flying ace Douglas Bader, are also represented, as are the endeavours of disabled artists and sportsmen, and the heroic exploits of well-known residents such as ‘the White Mouse’ of the French Resistance, Nancy Wake.

It is still accessible by visiting

As part of its Remembrance campaign this year, the Charity put together a #RSGHremembers campaign, which featured residents, volunteers and staff reflecting on the actions of their relatives who fought in the First World War.

Residents at its two Homes in Solihull and Surbiton also recited the Carol Ann Duffy poem The Wound in Time, which was written to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War, and read out across beaches all over the country on 11 November.

They also made poppies from the base of bottles at the home in Surbiton, and painted the flowers on pebbles in Solihull.


For further information please contact:

Goolistan Cooper

Communications Officer


t: 0208 481 7669

Cally Madden

Marketing & Communications Manager


t: 020 8481 7692


About The Royal Star & Garter Homes:

The Charity provides award-winning care for 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 young men returning from the battlegrounds of the First World War. Today we provide specialist care to the whole military family in our friendly, state-of-the-art Homes. Disabled ex-Servicemen and women, and their spouses, can all benefit from our pioneering approach to nursing, dementia and therapeutic care.

We are in the process of building new Homes around the country to provide specialist nursing care for disabled ex-Service people in the best modern surroundings, including dementia care facilities to address this growing need. The Charity has award-winning Homes in Solihull, West Midlands, and Surbiton, Surrey, which also enables the Charity to offer interim care for young disabled Service personnel. Following the successes of the first two Homes, a third Home in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, is being built, with a planned opening in 2019.

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.

The Charity celebrated its centenary in 2016: providing specialist care for disabled veterans since 1916.


Twitter: @starandgarter



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 or by contacting 02476243619. More details on NCF available at

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