Remembrance Day 2023 Veteran Roll Call

Country Court Care Homes are keen to ensure people can mark Remembrance Day in a way that is meaningful to them. Care Homes across the group have been busy with remembrance-themed activities such as making poppies and visiting museums, which has sparked much reminiscing and conversation between staff and residents.

We’ve create a roll call of just a few of the many veterans in Country Court Care Homes, both residents and staff members who served have served in the Armed Forces.

We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for your service and to all those who lost their lives serving their country: We will remember them.

Our Staff Veterans

David McCartney: Summer Lane Nursing Home

David is the Catering Manager at Summer Lane Care & Nursing Home in Weston-Super-Mare. He served as a Chef in the Royal Air Force joining straight from school at the tender age of fifteen in 1970 as an apprentice.

He left in 1997 after serving for twenty-five years in the UK at RAF Watisham, RAF Upwood, RAF Brampton and RAF Binbrook as well as Cyprus, Germany, Gibraltar, Northern Ireland and The Falkland Islands. He has long-service medals and General Service Medals for Northern Ireland and the Falkland’s campaign.


Ivon Peplow: Hospitality Team

Ivon served in the Royal Air Force as a SAC (senior aircraftman) for twelve years from 22nd Feb 1983 until 28th May 1995. He completed his Basic Training at RAF Swinderby, Trade Training at RAF Hereford, and served at RAF Cottesmore (now Kendrew Barracks) just outside of Oakham as well as in Cyprus, the Falkland Islands and Saudi Arabia Blackadder Camp Op Granby during 1990 – 91.

Ivon was awarded the Op Granby Saudi Arabia Campaign Medal and in the second year of his tour at RAF Cottesmore he was part of the team in the Officer's Mess that cooked for Her Majesty the Queen. He has plenty of stories to tell but none that would be appropriate for publication!

Kevin Penny: Hospitality Team

Kevin Penny is currently the Hospitality Operations Support Manager for the Northern Area with Country Court. Kevin served in the Army as a Chef in the Army Catering Corps for twenty-five years from September 1971 until March 1996. His time in the army took him all over the world from the UK to Germany, Canada, Belize, Kenya, Northern Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq. He as been awarded many medals including GSM and Bar, Gulf War Medal, Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, Saudi Medal and Kuwait Medal.

Kevin is pictured inside a tent in Saudi Arabia with Christmas decorations. Upon arrival in Saudi Arabia, they were told that they could not celebrate Christmas. As you can see in the British Army, where there is a will there is a way!

Our Resident Veterans

Brenda Smith: The Grange Care Home

Brenda Smith was awarded a 'Recognition of Service' for her time in the UK Armed Forces as an Air Defence Radar Operator during the Cold War. At the age of just eighteen, she was part of a team that guided fighters to hostile aircraft in British airspace. Brenda was also a great athlete and represented the Royal Air Force in swimming and athletics.


Jim Gardiner: Hermitage House Care Home

Jim joined the Royal Marines at just 17 years old, just 6 months before he was drafted off to take part in the D-day landings. He was on Sword Beach in Normandy for 6 weeks and was one of the first to get to the beach to save the French from the Germans. He received a medal for saving another man's life and left the Marines at age 21. 

He is also an OBE which he got for his services to the National Health Service. He says he remembers exactly how many steps he had to take before he had to bow to the Queen, and the conversation that he had with her. He said the best bit about it was knowing that his son and daughter were in the audience watching.

David Cooke: Belmont House Care & Nursing Home

David joined the army in 1959 when he was 15 years old. He was posted to Hampshire in the Royal Army Ordinance Core (R.A.O.C), where he did his training and stayed there for 2 and half years. At 17 he was posted to Donnington to serve on the maintenance of guns, and was based there for 1 year, and then at 18 he was posted to Singapore and oversaw the delivery of ammo. He returned to Oxfordshire in 1967 and served for a further year. David left the army in 1967.


Roy Newman: Lyncroft Care Home

Roy was a Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineer based in the UK and spent 4 years traveling around the UK, repairing army equipment

Graham Gartside : Lyncroft Care Home

Graham as an Army Royal Guard for 9 years. He served in Germany, and in the Conflict of Ireland. He was there during Bloody Sunday, he was then based at Windsor Barracks and was a guard to the Royal family

Alan Watson: Lyncroft Care Home

Alan was called up to the army in 1946, when he was 18 years old. He joined the 4th Royal Tank Regiment, and ended his army career in the regimental police force. He did a lot of traveling with the Army and went to France, Germany, Italy and Egypt.

John Triggs: Ferrars Hall Care Home

John was a Chief Technician in the Air Force for 22 years. He was awarded a Royal Victorian Medal for his services to the Queen

Frank Needham: Ferrars Hall Care Home

Frank was a Sailor Junior Officer in the Navy for 2 years. His rank was a sub-lieutenant 

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