The theme for this week's virtual 'Young Onset Dementia CST Friendship Group' was 'Remembrance Day', which is on or near to 11th November each year.
We discussed the meaning of 'Remembrance Day' and asked members if anyone had a parent or grandparent who 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 11th November, which is the anniversary of 'Armistice Day', which marked the end of hostilities in the First World War at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.
We talked about things which reminded us of 'Remembrance Day', 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 support 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, on 'Remembrance Sunday'. 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 am, which is observed across the country on 'Remembrance Sunday' to pay tribute to those who gave their lives to give us a better future. Big Ben chimed at 11 am for the first time in months, as it is still undergoing repairs.
Next, we asked members to complete the following phrases together ....
All’s fair in love and WAR
At daggers DRAWN
At gun POINT
Axe to GRIND
Battle of WITS / NERVES
Bite the BULLET
In the WARS
Bury the HATCHET
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
Keep your powder DRY
Knight in shining ARMOUR
On your GUARD
Open old WOUNDS
Over the TOP
Pull the TRIGGER
Battle STATIONS / SHIPS
Wave the white FLAG
Hold your PEACE
Make love not WAR
Give peace a CHANCE (John Lennon)
No peace for the WICKED
MUSIC & PICTURE QUIZ
Next, we completed a music and picture quiz together, which aimed to provide a means of reminscence and cognitive stimulation.
(Please proceed with a note of caution, as some individuals may have had traumatic wartime experiences or lost loved ones during conflicts. This emphasises once again the importance of biographical person centred assessment before engaging people with dementia in meaningful CST activities.)
The quiz, I hope, avoids the more distressing aspects of World War Two and focuses more on the home front experience and arts and media representations.
The virtual prize this week was the lovely book 'Wartime Kitchen And Garden', by Jennifer Davies.
(Please remember to simplify the quiz, according to the cognitive needs of your group. Reminiscence and story telling are far more important than score keeping. Celebrate engagement and inclusion in whatever form it takes, for example, singing, dancing, laughter and so on. Give lots of clues, such as first names of actors and films. Increase the focus on music if the group is struggling with content. Use this activities page as a loose guide. Most importantly, have fun with it!)
Here's a recipe from this book and TV series ....
'Curried egg sandwiches for VE Day' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioivXH5UTS0
ROUND 1. The Home Front
1. What were the 'Reserved Occupations' exempted from conscription during the Second World War? Name as many of them as you can.
2. What were the three tasks of the 'Air Raid Precautions Wardens'?
3. What did 'Standard Rations' include? Make as complete a list of ingredients as you can.
(Interesting fact: There were three things a person ALWAYS had to carry with them during the war. Their Ration Book, Identity Card and gas mask.)
4. Which part of UK government set up the 'Dig For Victory' campaign?
(Discussion point: Does anyone still grow their own produce or have an allotment?)
5. Members of the 'Women's Land Army' were known as what?
6. What was this type of air raid shelter known as?
(Does anyone still have one in their garden?)
7. How many children were evacuated from London to the countryside in 'Operation Pied Piper' in September 1939? (Nearest guess)
8. SONG. 'Pack Up Your Troubles'/'It's A Long Way To Tipperary', Robert Mandell - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsynSgeo_Uo
'National Conscription' or mandatory enlistment of civilians to one of the armed forces was more commonly referred to as what?
ROUND 2. The War Front
9. What were, and still are, the three 'British Armed Forces'?
10. Where did the 'Anzac' and 'Gurkha' allied forces come from?
11. Which two aircraft were said to have 'Won the Battle Of Britain' from 10th July - 31st October 1940?
12. Who invented the 'bouncing bomb' used in the 'Dambusters' raids on German Ruhr dams on 16th-17th May 1943?
Here it the music - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJun5ziotfw
13. What did the 'G.I.' stand for in 'G.I. Joe'?
14. Colditz Castle, near Leipzig in Germany, was a prisoner of war camp for Allied officers who were considered 'incorrigible', as they had escaped from other camps. How many British officers escaped from there during the war years (nearest guess)?
(Did anyone have this board game as children?)
15. Thinking of German forces, what were these called:
- Their air force?
- Their submarines?
- Their V1 flying bombs?
- Their State Secret Police?
- Their emblem?
16. What was the name of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on 6th August 1945?
17. SONG. 'Suicide Is Painless', Johnny Mandel and Michael Altman - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmLq87RU97w
What does 'M.A.S.H.' stand for and which war was the TV show about?
ROUND 3. TV
18. This painting, 'The Fallen Madonna With The Big Boobies', was featured in which TV sitcom?
How much did it sell for in 2018?
Whose catchphrase was, "Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once.!"?
Here is a link to the intro music - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-isrjFPkH00
19. The episode 'Don't Mention The War' featured in which TV comedy series?
Who wrote the show?
Can anyone think of any of the rearranged signs?
Here are the opening titles - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WGaBylvVMo
20. Which TV comedy show's fourth series saw men in World War One 'going over the top'?
Name the actors pictured here?
Here is a link to a sketch from that show - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDQ1ljlnSjU&t=14s
21. 'Dad's Army' was a hit TV comedy series in the UK, broadcast from 1968-1977. What force was it about?
Name the characters and actors pictured here?
here's a link to a sketch from that show - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YMVPXmaKds
Here are the opening titles - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11LZIhF-2QQ
Remember this set of stamps with 'Dad's Army' catchphrases on them ...
22. What did 'E.N.S.A.' stand for?
23. What was the name of the TV sitcom about a Royal Artillery concert party based in Deolali in India and the fictional village of Tin Min in Burma, during the last months of the Second World War?
Name the three actors pictured here?
Here is link to the closing theme - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAL9HG2p98g
24. SONG. 'Whispering Grass', Don Estelle & Windsor Davies - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10dmK7O-KSY
What did Windsor Davies say at the end of every episode?