Residents Win VJ Day Poppy Competition with Emotional Poem & Picture
17 November 2020
Norwood Resident Isabella ‘Belle’ McCreadie and West Ridings Resident Jean Flintoff have won our Poppy Competition with their emotional poem and picture.
The Poppy Competition – where Residents were asked to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War with words or images – received entries from 20 of our Homes.
During the Second World War, winner Belle, 85, and her loved ones endured hardship and heartbreak, so she remembers the relief of ‘Victory over Japan’ Day clearly.
Belle said she was delighted to be crowned the winner and that when she sat down to write the poem, the words came easily.
Belle said: “My Uncle Alex fought in the war, as did many of our friends and neighbours – they were terrible times.
“We were out dancing when the news came through, and it was wonderful to think the war was finally over. Remembering that moment came very easily to me.
“It’s amazing to win this competition, I’ve told everybody!”
West Ridings Resident Jean created the winning image with her thumb painting of a poppy.
According to Jean’s daughter Mandy, she has previously told some heart-wrenching stories about her experiences during the war.
Mandy said that when Jean was just four year’s old, the German Luftwaffe were despatched to blow up Gawthorpe Water Tower, which was near the family’s home.
There was only enough room in their cellar for Jean and her baby brother, who sat on her lap during the ordeal. She recalls hearing her father say to her mother, ‘If there is a time to pray, it’s now,” before a blast shattered all the windows in the house.
Jean, who is living with dementia, created the poppy painting using her thumb prints to make the petals.
The Poppy Competition is just one of the initiatives Norwood, West Ridings and other Advinia Care Homes have been running to ensure Homes stay connected with their communities.
Wellbeing & Engagement Lead George Dewis said that this particular activity had been very popular with Residents.
George said: “When I read Belle’s poem, it brought a tear to my eye – you can feel the pathos in every line. Jean’s lovely image was very moving too.
“We’ve found that our Residents have enjoyed the chance to talk about their experiences in the war and to express how they felt in poetry and drawings.
“It’s humbling for those of us born after VJ day to hear their stories and remember the sacrifices made by ordinary people all over the UK.”