• Simon O'Donovan

Remembrance Sunday

The theme for this week's 'Young Onset Dementia CST Friendship Group' was 'Remembrance Sunday', which has it's 101st anniversary on November 10th this year. (Click on the above image to link to a slides show for printing out for the tables.) DISCUSSION Our discussion focused on the debt of gratitude we all owe to our country's servicemen and women and especially those lost in the two great wars. We looked at the meaning of 'Remembrance Sunday' to members and asked if anyone had a parent or grandparent who had served in the Second World War, or other conflicts. Several members had, so this was very important to recognise. We reminded ourselves that 'Remembrance Sunday' is held in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations as a day "to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts". It is held on the second Sunday in November, the Sunday nearest to 11 November, the anniversary of 'Armistice Day', which marked the end of hostilities in the First World War at 11 a.m. in 1918. We talked about things which reminded us of 'Remembrance Sunday', with our list being as follows: - Wearing poppies. The poppy was chosen as the symbol for The Royal British Legion fundraising effort, which raises funds to supports ex-servicemen and women, because it was included in the first line of the poem 'In Flanders Fields' which referred to the fact that they were the first flowers to grow in the churned up earth of soldiers' graves. (The poem is included in full below.) - The Queen, Prime Minister and other dignitaries laying wreaths at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London. This is a monument to lost servicemen and women and the Unknown Soldier, but actually the grave of the Unknown Solider is in Westminster Abbey. - Two minute silence at 11 a.m. which is observed across the country to pay tribute those those who gave their lives to give us a better future. Big Ben will chime at 11 a.m. for the first time in months, as it undergoing repairs.


Ask members to complete the following phrases ...

All’s fair in love and WAR At daggers DRAWN At gun POINT Axe to GRIND Battle of WITS / NERVES Bite the BULLET Bombs AWAY In the WARS Bury the HATCHET Close RANKS Cross SWORDS Don’t mention the WAR (Basil Fawlty) Don’t shoot the MESSENGER Double edged SWORD Drop a BOMBSHELL Fight fire with FIRE Fight an uphill BATTLE Set your SIGHTS Long SHOT Keep your powder DRY Knight in shining ARMOUR Off your GUARD Open old WOUNDS Over the TOP Pull the TRIGGER Trigger HAPPY Fighter PILOT Battle STATIONS / SHIPS Hold FIRE Wave the white FLAG Hold your PEACE Make love not WAR Give peace a CHANCE (John Lennon) No peace for the WICKED


We then had a few questions to answer, to help us think about the wartime experiences of our parents and grandparents. - What were the three main 'British Armed Forces'? - ROYAL NAVY, BRITISH ARMY & ROYAL AIR FORCE

- Winston Churchill Leader of which party in the war years? - CONSERVATIVE PM FROM 1940-45 (and again 1951-55)

- Who started the Second World War, by invading Poland? - ADOLF HITLER

- What was the name of the symbol of the Nazi Party? - SWASTIKA

- And what was said with the Nazi salute? - SEIG HEIL

- What was the 'Local Defence Volunteers' defence organisation of the British Army in the Second World War commonly known as? - THE HOME GUARD - What were the 'Reserved Occupations' in the Second World War, which exempted people working in these roles from being conscripted? - DOCTORS, MINERS, FARMERS, SCIENTISTS, MERCHANT SEAMEN, SCHOOL TEACHERS, RAILWAY AND DOCK WORKERS, UTILITY WORKERS - WATER, GAS, ELECTRICITY - What were Britains asked to 'Dig For' in WW2? - VICTORY - According to the World War II poster what did 'Careless Talk' do? - COST LIVES - What did 'WRNS' stand for? - WOMENS' ROYAL NAVAL SERVICE


- What was then Princess Elizabeth's role in the Second World War? - DRIVER IN THE WOMEN'S AUXILIARY TERRITORIAL SERVICE (She reached the rank of Captain)

- True or False. The Land Army was an exclusively female membership? TRUE (In fact the organisation was called ‘Women’s Land Army And Timber Corps’ - What was an 'Anderson Shelter'? - AIR RAID SHELTER MADE OF CORRUGATED IRON SHEETS AND BURIED IN THE GARDEN - Where did Londoners take cover? - IN THE UNDERGROUND - What was the role of 'Air Raid Precautions Wardens' in the Second World War? - ENSURING BLACK OUT BLINDS WERE IN ORDER & RAISING THE ALARM WHEN INCOMING ENEMY AIRCRAFT WERE SPOTTED. ALSO SOUNDING THE ALL CLEAR - What was 'Operation Pied Piper' in World War 11? - THE EVACUATION OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN SEPTEMBER 1940 FROM CITIES AT RISK OF BOMBING TO RURAL LOCATIONS. 3.5 MILLION WERE RELOCATED TO THE COUNTRYSIDE - Which aircraft were said to have won the 'Battle Of Britain' 10th July - 31st October 1940? - SPITFIRE & HURRICANE - What was the nickname of anti-British broadcaster William Joyce? - LORD HAW HAW (Note how important the radio was in the war years.) - Which US band leader went missing over the channel in 1944? - GLEN MILLER - What was the German air-force called? - LUFTWAFFE - The Japanese came into World War 11 by unexpectedly bombing which U.S. base on 7th December 1941? - PEARL HARBOUR IN HAWAII

- From which countries did the 'ANZAC' and 'Gurkha' partner forces come from? - AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND & NEPAL

- What did the 'G.I.' stand for in 'G.I. Joe'? - ORIGINAL MEANING WAS 'GALVANISED IRON', BUT IT ALSO CAME TO MEAN 'GENERAL ISSUE' OR 'GROUND INFANTRY'. THE TERM REFERS TO AN AMERICAN SOLDIER - What was Vera Lynn known as in World War 11? - FORCES SWEETHEART - What was 'ENSA' in World War 11? - ENTERTAINMENTS NATIONAL SERVICE ORGANISATION - What was a 'DOODLEBUG'? - GERMAN v-1 FLYING BOMB - What were German submarines known as? - U-BOATS

- Which German castle served as a POW camp for officers in the Second World War? - COLDITZ

- In which French area were the D-Day landings? - NORMANDY. THE BEACHES WERE CALLED OMAHA, GOLD, JUNO, SWORD, UTAH ('D Day' was 6th June 1944.) - Which two Japanese cities were attacked by atomic bombs during World War Two (August 6th & 9th 1945)? - HIROSHIMA & NAGASAKI

- The name of the plane that dropped the bombs was? - THE ENOLA GAY

- How many souls lost their lives in the notorious 'Holocaust'? - SIX MILLION

- Which medal was the highest honour of distinction? THE VICTORIA CROSS (The VC is the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system. It is awarded for valour "in the presence of the enemy" to members of the British Armed Forces. It may be awarded posthumously.)

(Maybe omit some of the questions if you feel they will cause distress?)

- When did 'Standard Rations' end in the U.K? - NOT UNTIL 4 JULY 1954 - What was 'S.P.A.M.', which gained popularity in the Second World War, an acronym for? - SPECIALLY PROCESSED AMERICAN MEAT

- What were the ingredients of 'Camp Coffee'? - CHICORY & COFFEE ESSENCE - Which three items would people be expected to carry with them during the war? - IDENTITY CARD, GAS MASK & RATION BOOK Standard Rations included (per person, per week) APRIL 1945 figs; Bacon and ham 4 oz (113 g) Sugar 8 oz (227 g) Loose tea 2 oz (57 g) Meat 1s. 2d. (equivalent to £2.31 in 2016) Cheese 2 oz (57 g) Vegetarians were allowed an extra 3 oz (85 g) cheese Preserves 1 lb (0.45 kg) per month Butter 2 oz (57 g) Margarine 4 oz (113 g) Lard 2 oz (57 g) Sweets 12 oz (340 g) per month

Because food was so scarce, housewives became very creative with stretching rations by inventing new recipes. Here are a couple from the 'Wartime Kitchen And Garden' book.

- 'Mock fish' - Mix ground rice, milk, margarine and anchovy paste into patties and fry in lard.

- 'Bread omelette' - Soak slices of stale bread in milk, dip in egg and fry in margarine.

- 'Mock duck' - Mash potatoes, mix in sausage meat and add sage to taste. Bake in a loaf.

- 'Imitation sausage rolls' - Mix baked beans and meat fat, insert into pastry rolls.

We discussed how children born in the Second World War had never seen a banana and they were considered a rare treat for some time after the War. We talked about areas locally which had suffered damage in the bombings and remembered how 'Prefabs' were constructed in the post-war years to help address housing shortages. One member had grown up in one. We next talked about more recent conflicts - the Korean War which ended in 1953, the Vietnam War which ended in 1975, the Falklands War in 1982 and the more recent hostilities in Iraq, which started in 2003, and Afghanistan, which started in 2001 and continue to this day. We also noted 'The Troubles' in Northern Ireland and the devastating impact on many across the UK. We reminded ourselves that 'Chelsea Pensioners' are retired ex-forces personnel who are resident at The Royal Hospital in Chelsea. They wear scarlet coats and black tricorn hats and are highly visible on 'Remembrance Sunday'. Group members universally praised the efforts of Prince Harry in starting the 'Invictus Games', intended for injured service men and women to take part in sporting competitive events as part of their recovery and rehabilitation. We also noted the art installations in various parts of the country, honouring the dead by having ceramic poppies draped over various landmarks. Also the torches outside the Tower Of London.

We next read some famous quotes and poems from the Second World War. “This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final note stating that unless we heard from them by eleven o’clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you that no such understanding has been received and that consequently this country is at war with Germany.” Neville Chamberlain – 3 September 1939 “I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this government: I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.... Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.” Winston Churchill – 13 May 1940, three days after becoming Prime Minister. "We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender." Winston Churchill - June 4, 1940 "Never in the field of human conflict, has so much, been owed by so many, to so few!” Winston Churchill – September 1940 “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – The United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” “We are now in this war. We are all in it, all the way.” Franklin D. Roosevelt – 8 & 9 December 1941 “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Winston Churchill – 10 November 1942 “The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.” Dwight D. Eisenhower – June 6, 1944, on the Normandy Landings “Attacks on cities are strategically justified in so far as they tend to shorten the war and so preserve the lives of allied soldiers.” Arthur “Bomber” Harris – 29 March 1945 "More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars - yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman and thoroughly impractical method of settling the differences between governments." Franklin D Roosevelt We moved on to the 'War Music Quiz' round next, followed by a creative arts activity, namely making pictures of poppies and war medals (some outline images were downloaded from the internet).

An alternative to art work would be a game of 'Battleships'. There are many apps available.


Does anyone remember who said the catchphrases ~Don't tell him Pike!" and "Don't Panic!" - CAPTAIN MAINWARING & LANCE CORPORAL JONES 2. Whispering Grass - Windsor Davies & Don Estelle. Which war-time comedy did these two actors star in? - IT AIN'T HALF HOT MUM

What was shouted at the end of every episode (closing titles)? - SHUT UP 3. Blackadder Goes Forth - TV Theme. Who played the part of Blackadder and his sidekick Baldrick? - ROWAN ATKINSON & TONY ROBINSON)

What was Baldrick's favourite vegetable? - TURNIP (He always had a 'Cunning Plan'!) 4. Allo Allo - TV Theme. Which painting were Rene and Edith Artois hiding from the Germans? - THE FALLEN MADONNA WITH THE BIG BOOBIES

Which character said, 'I will say this only once.'? - MICHELLE FROM THE RESISTANCE 5. M.A.S.H. - TV Theme. Which character was cross-dressing in order to get an honourable discharge? - CORPORAL KLINGER

What does 'M.A.S.H.' stand for? -'MOBILE ARMY SURGICAL HOSPITAL' (Korean War, 1950-53) 6. The Great Escape - Elmer Bernstein. Which character/actor was trying to jump over the barbed wire on a motorbike in an effort to escape from Stalag Luft 11 in Poland in the film 'The Great Escape'? - HILTS (THE 'COOLER KING'/STEVE MCQUEEN) 7. End Titles - The Sound Of Music. Who were Captain von Trapp's seven children? - LIESL, FRIEDERICH, LOUISA, KURT, BRIGITTA, MARTA, GRETL

Who played Maria and Georg Von Trapp in the 1965 film? - JULIE ANDREWS & CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER 8. Saving Private Ryan - John Williams. What were the D-Day Landing assault beaches called in 'Operation Overlord'? - UTAH, OMAHA, GOLD, JUNO AND SWORD

Who starred in the 1998 movie? - TOM HANKS 9. Onward Christian Soldiers - Hymn. Singalong. Also who founded the Salvation Army ('Sally Ann') in 1865? - WILLIAM BOOTH

(Maybe choose just one of these pieces of classical music if time if tight?) 10. Adagio For Strings - Samuel Barber. What 1987 Vietnam war film did this famous piece of classical music feature in? - PLATOON 11. Apocalypse Now - Film Theme. Which actor starred in the lead role in this 1979 Frances Ford Coppola war film? - MARTIN SHEEN 12. Cavatina - Stanley Myers. Which 1979 Vietnam war film did this song appear in? THE DEER HUNTER (It starred - ROBERT DE NIRO) 13. Schindler's List - John Williams. (Closest guess!) How many Jews did Oskar Schindler save during The Holocaust? - 1,200

14. Bridge Over The River Kwai - Film Theme. Which widely known lyrics that accompany this piece of music were left out of the 1957 film because they were considered too vulgar (the tune was whistled instead)? - HITLER HAS ONLY GOT ONE BALL, THE OTHER IS IN THE ALBERT HALL. HIS MOTHER, THE DIRTY BUGGER CUT IT OFF WHEN HE WAS SMALL 15. The Dambusters March - Film Theme. Who invented the Bouncing Bomb? - BARNES WALLACE

Which plane dropped this bomb? - LANCASTER BOMBER

Can anyone make a 'pair of goggles' with their hands? 16. There Is Nothing Like A Dame - South Pacific. Where was the 1958 musical film 'South Pacific' set? - THE MUSICAL REFERS TO THE ISLAND BALI IN ITS LYRICS

The character Bloody Mary (Juanita Hall) sang the song 'Happy Talk' in the movie. How would you make a Bloody Mary? - TOMATO JUICE, VODKA, DROP OF TABASCO OR WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE & A STICK OF CELERY 17. We'll Meet Again - Vera Lynn. How old is Dame Vera Lynn? 102 - SHE HAD A BEST SELLING (BY A UK FEMALE) ALBUM NAMED '100' RELEASED IN MARCH 2017

Her nickname was? - THE FORCES SWEETHEART 18. The White Cliffs Of Dover - Vera Lynn. Which TV quiz host features on this version of the song with Vera Lynn? - ALEXANDER ARMSTRONG (OF 'POINTLESS' FAME) 19. It's A Long Way To Tipperary/Pack Up Your Troubles. Singalong

Where is Tipperary? - IRELAND (MUNSTER) 20. In The Mood - Glen Miller. Glen Miller was best selling recording artist from 1939-43. What was his genre of music known as? - SWING

What instruments were played in his 'Big Band'? - SAXOPHONE, CLARINET, TRUMPET, TROMBONE, BASS & PIANO 21. Sing - Military Wives. Gary Barlow wrote this song for The Military Wives, but who was their choirmaster? - GARETH MALONE 22. Nimrod - Edward Elgar. This piece of music is always played at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday, but what suite of music does it come from? - THE ENIGMA VARIATIONS 23. Last Post. We had a two minute silence while this bugle call played. 24. Imagine - John Lennon. We wanted to choose a song for peace to end this session. What better song to finish with. Bonus song 'Edelweiss' from 'The Sound Of Music'. Finally we read aloud the poem 'In Flanders Fields', written by John McCrae, in May 1915. In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields. And the extract from the poem 'For the Fallen' by Robert Laurence Binyon, published in The Times newspaper on 21st September 1914. They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.

About Me

Simon O’Donovan MBE has worked in NHS Wales for most of his adult life, supporting people with dementia, their carers and families and developing and improving services to benefit this client group. 

He recently retired from working as a Community Mental Health Nurse within a Young Onset Dementia Service and continues to contribute to weekly CST 'Friendship Group' sessions as a volunteer co-facilitator.


He has been keeping a weekly 'Young Dementia CST Blog' to share and archive tried and tested activities resources, with the ultimate aim of providing an 'off the shelf' resource library of weekly themed CST sessions which can be used on rotation throughout the year. 


The main aim of this website is to share experience and resources freely, in order that others can dip in and out and use some or all of the materials provided in their own CST work. Thus it is hoped, facilitating and supporting the provision of uplifting and enjoyable sessions that optimise people with dementia's quality of life.

This site is not owned by or affiliated to any organisation. It’s a personal commitment, a not for profit exchange of ideas and a resource library which aims to enable more widespread use of CST approaches for people with dementia. 

To this end, 'Guest Blogs' are VERY welcome, but bearing in mind that no images of clients are to be used without their express written informed consent.

Please note that some images are reproduced on this blog from the internet under the 'fair use copyright' principle, in that they will only be used for educational purposes with disability groups and in no way will be linked to profit making activities.


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