Care Home Salutes War Veterans

Residents at a care home in Tunbridge Wells are being recognised for their contribution to HM Armed Forces on Saturday 18 July.

Ten residents at Rusthall Lodge, a ‘not-for-profit’ stand-alone home will be receiving their HM Armed Forces enamelled pin badges at a ‘Home Front’ themed event at the weekend. In the presence of members of the Royal British Legion, RAFA, T.S. Brilliant Corps of Bugles and Drums, the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells and other invited guests, the event hasbeen designed to commemorate and recognise the valuable contribution made by the residents in serving their country. With entertainment throughout the day, the event will culminate in a fly-past by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Dakota from 233 Squadron.

Among those being recognised is Rusthall Lodge resident Margaret Van Den Burgh, 93. Margaret was in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force stationed at Beachy Head between 1941 and 1945. As a radar operator, she was one of those responsible for delivering information to the controller who was in direct contact with the pilots.

Also included is Betty Kormanic, 93, who as a WAAF initially based in Rye, East Sussex, was later relocated to Yatesbury in Wiltshire. Betty’s role was training other radar operators – a vital role during the Second World War. Betty was eventually commissioned as a Signal Officer, based at Lake Windermere.

Bill Blackford, compliance manager at Rusthall Lodge said: “We are truly honoured to be organising and hosting this event. In many respects it’s a small gesture we’re making for such a huge contribution all our residents made during that dark period. We’re all aware that peoples’ experiences of that time differ so we treat everybody with dignity and respect the wishes of those who do not wish to elaborate on their own contribution to the war effort.”