Care home residents swap memories with Royal Engineers

Military memories were swapped when members of the Royal Engineers met up with former servicemen at a Chichester care home.

Sunday, 31st July 2016, 3:56 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:26 am
Ex-Royal Engineers Ian Lye Grant, John Benstead and Jack Lumley meet current and former members of the regiment over lunch at Colten Cares Wellington Grange in Chichester

The visit to Wellington Grange, Colten Care’s purpose-built home, on the historic Roussillon Barracks site, was prompted by a talk on bomb disposal earlier this year.

Three residents at Wellington Grange – Ian Lye Grant, John Benstead and Jack Lumley – are ex-Royal Engineers.

Such was the response to the talk by Sgt Cain Wellings (retired) that it was decided to organise a return visit by serving members of the Royal Engineers.

Ex-Royal Engineer John Benstead receives his regimental plaque from Corporal Anthony Hickman

Sgt Wellings was accompanied by Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) Clive Robertson and Corporals Lee Fantham and Anthony Hickman.

After a private lunch, the Royal Engineers presented regimental plaques to the ex-servicemen.

They also reminisced over old photographs and discussed present day operations involving the regiment.

Sgt Wellings said: “It was a great success. Jack, Ian and John were really engaged and the home manager, Clare Gibson, said she’d never seen such a response from residents.

Ian Lye Grant, John Benstead and Jack Lumley receive regimental plaques from the Royal Engineers

“It all originated from my talk on the history of bomb disposal. I’m just so pleased that we were able to make a return visit with current members of the Royal Engineers.”

Shari Miles, activity organiser, said: “This visit really had a special quality to it and you could see this in the reaction of our residents involved.

“Seeing the old and young together, you would have thought they were all serving together.”

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