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97-year-old reunited with veterans at Newark Armed Forces Day parade thanks to Royal British Legion and Ideal Carehomes

97-year-old reunited with veterans at Newark Armed Forces Day parade thanks to Royal British Legion and Ideal Carehomes

A veteran reunited with old friends when he attended an Armed Forces Day parade.

97-year-old army veteran, Frank Cavender, from Bowbridge Court care home in Newark, had a wonderful time when he was reunited with his fellow veterans at the Newark Armed Forces Day parade on June 18, after being invited by the Royal British Legion.

On the day of the Armed Forces parade, Frank put on his best suit and was accompanied to the parade by the Bowbridge Court care team.

Frank and Carol from the Royal British Legion. Photo: Ideal Carehomes

Local veterans and their guests took their places in a reserved VIP seating area to watch the celebration; Frank especially enjoyed the Military Wives’ Choir and the RAF Band.

He said: “I loved going out to see the Armed Forces Parade and the band who stopped right in front of us.

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“It was a fantastic morning catching up with the other veterans, some of whom I haven’t seen in years since I visited the local Patriot Breakfast.

“I’d like to thank my friend Carol from the Royal British Legion who comes to visit me regularly and made sure the day was extra special.”

Frank during his time as a soldier. Photo: Ideal Carehomes

Speaking to staff members about his time in the Armed Forces, Frank said: “I was called up for service in December 1944 when I was 19 and sent to Green Howards base for basic training.

“Due to having virtually no sight in one eye, I had very limited choice of regiment and I was recruited into the Pioneer Corps. I joined my first unit in February 1945.

“I was stationed, initially, in Knaresborough and had the job of organising the prisoners of war to go out to the farms around and help the local farmers. I used to go into York to collect the rations for them.

I was hospitalised in Harrogate after I contracted dermatitis through a shaving nick, which became infected from dirty blankets, and from there I was sent out to Egypt in January 1947 to help the Egyptians with clean water.”

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After finishing his service and being discharged, Frank returned home to finish an apprenticeship in sheet metal work, which he had started before being called to service.

Sara Scott, the Home Manager at Bowbridge Court, said: “We can’t thank the Royal British Legion enough for giving Frank such an amazing day, he couldn’t stop smiling.

“It was so heart-warming to see people approaching Frank to thank him for his service, to which he humbly replied, ‘I don’t need thanking, I didn’t join the army to be thanked.”

  • June 25, 2023