Remembering World War One heroes

Over 70 residents turned out to a 1900s-style tea party at Catalyst’s head office in Ealing on 12 August to mark a hundred years since Britain entered World War One.

Older Catalyst residents got the chance to share their experiences with other residents over a cup of tea, sandwiches and variety of cakes. The day ended with a sing-a-long to war-time songs and a raffle where residents won rations of food.

But no war remembrance event would be complete without a war veteran. Stanley Kern, 95 years old, was one of the many residents who talked about what life was like during World War Two.

Stanley served for Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka, and witnessed eight bombings while stationed at the Rockhouse Battery (a artillery fort).

‘This event brings back so many memories for me. I recognise the tea cups, the posters and decorations here. I even know all the songs!’ says Stanley.

Residents enjoying tea

After World War Two, Stanley went back to his job as a motor mechanic and in 1967 came to England with his wife and children. He has been living in a two-bedroom Catalyst home for over 20 years and spends much of his time looking after his garden.

Stanley said: ‘My huge garden keeps me fit. I have a pond and grow many flowers and plants. I even have a bale tree that’s nearly six-feet tall’.

Christina Tom-Johnson, a Catalyst resident and board member, came up with the idea to host the event in a bid to encourage Catalyst’s older, and sometimes isolated, residents to get involved and help remember those who fought for freedom during World War 1. Catalyst employees then joined forces with our residents to organise the tea party.

To find out how you can get involved at Catalyst, contact the resident involvement teamVisit our Facebook page to see pictures of the event or to watch a video of the residents singing.