'Remembrance Day' - 11th November

The theme for this week's virtual 'Young Onset Dementia CST Friendship Group' was 'Remembrance Day', which is on 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 11 am 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 ....

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



Don’t mention the WAR (Basil Fawlty)

Don’t shoot the MESSENGER

Double edged SWORD


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

Trigger HAPPY

Fighter PILOT



Wave the white FLAG

Hold your PEACE

Make love not WAR

Give peace a CHANCE (John Lennon)

No peace for the WICKED


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 again the importance of biographical person centred assessment before engaging people with dementia in 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!)

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?


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?

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?


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?

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

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. Glen Miller was a best selling recording artist from 1939-43. What was his genre of music known as?

What instruments were played in his 'Big Band'?

If you want to get people up and dancing, here is a link to a Jive Bunny 'Glen Miller Medley' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlAkezI3jc4

ROUND 4. Film

25. Which 1963 World War Two film is this still taken from? And what is the character's and actor's names?

26. What 1953 war movie features Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr making love in the waves?

27. Name the three actors here who starred in the 1961 movie 'The Guns Of Navarone'?

28. Where is the River Kwai?

Complete the song - "Hitler has only got one ball ..."

29. What were the code names for the five landing beaches in Normandy where 'D Day' took place on 6th June 1944?

What was the name of the 1998 movie about 'D Day'?

30. How many people perished in 'The Holocaust'?

How many Jews did Oscar Schindler save?

31. Where is Pearl Harbour?


32. SONG. 'Happy Talk', Rogers & Hammerstein - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXgmQDFhPjo

Bloody Mary is a character in the 1946 movie 'South Pacific', who sings 'Bali Hai' and 'Happy Talk'. What are the ingredients of a 'Bloody Mary' cocktail?

Here's another song from this movie, 'There Is Nothing Like A Dame' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ljm9CDRAhMQ&t=143s

ROUND 5. Heroes

33. Identify these three people from the war years?

34. Name this pilot, who lost both of his legs during training in 1931 and went on to fly in the Second World War during 'The Battle of Britain'?

35. Who is this, that will feature on the new £50 polymer note when it is launched later this year? And what did he do at Bletchley Park, which saved countless lives in World War Two?

36. Name this Falklands Veteran, who was badly wounded on board the Sir Galahad in June 1982?

37. What is the name of the Games that Prince Harry established to support rehabilitation of injured returning war heroes?

38. Who is this war veteran hero and how much has he raised for NHS charities recently?

39. What was Dame Vera Lynn called in the Second World War (nickname)?

How old was she when she died earlier this year?

Here's the duet of 'We'll Meet Again' sung by Dame Vera Lynn and Catherine Jenkins, which recently reached number 1 in the iTunes chart - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbLAtgUpl2g

40. What role did the Queen have in the Second World War?


41. Complete these song titles from this 1965 movie? (Time to pick up some extra points)

- I Have ..........

- Sixteen Going On .........

- My Favourite ......

- Climb Ev'ry ........

- The Lonely ........

- Do, Re, ..

- Something ....

- So Long, ........

- Eidel - .....

- The Sound Of .....

Here's a link to the 'Sound Of Music Overture', which reprises most of these songs - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7pxbCAHyi4

42. SONG. 'Pipes Of Peace', Paul McCartney - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j47x0C-9jw0

On what day was this song set?

43. Where is this? The ceramic poppies in 2014 were a dramatic tribute to the fallen.

44. Where is the 'Festival Of Remembrance' held each year?

To finish the quiz, you might like to 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.

To finish, here is 'The Last Post' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDS3TxtGaQ0


Here is an activity suggestion. You could work with members to make poppies out of plastic bottle bottoms, or paint poppies on beach pebbles.


1. 'Reserved Occupations' were exempted from conscription. They included:

- Doctors

- Miners

- Farmers

- Scientists

- Merchant Seamen

- School Teachers

- Railway and Dock Workers

- Utility Workers - Water, Gas & Electricity

2. 'Air Raid Precautions Wardens' were tasked with:

- Ensuring 'Black Out Blinds' were in order

- Raising the alarm when incoming enemy aircraft were spotted

- Sounding the 'All Clear'

3. '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

4. The 'Dig For Victory' campaign was set up by the 'British Ministry Of Agriculture'

5. 'Women's Land Army' workers were known as 'Land Girls'

6. 'Anderson Air Raid Shelter'

7. 1.5 million children were evacuated

8. 'The Draft'

9. The three 'British Armed Forces' were / are:

- British Army

- Royal Air Force

- Royal Navy

10. 'Anzacs' came from Australia and New Zealand. 'Gurkhas' came from Nepal

11. The 'Battle Of Britain' was said to have been won by:

- Spitfires & Hurricanes

12. Sir Barnes Neville Wallis

13. The original meaning of G.I. was 'Galvanised Iron', but it also came to mean 'General Issue' or 'Ground Infantry'. The term refers to an American soldier in World War Two

14. There were only 15 'home run' escapes from Colditz, 11 of whom were British

15. Thinking of German forces, what were these called:

- Their air force? - Luftwaffe

- Their submarines? - U boats

- Their V1 flying bombs? - Doodlebugs

- Their State Secret Police? - Gestapo

- Their emblem? - Swastika

16. 'Enola Gay'

17. 'M.A.S.H.' stood for 'Mobile Army Surgical Hospital'

The TV show was set in the Korean War (1950-53)

18. 'Allo Allo'. It sold for £15,000 in 2018

Michelle of the French Resistance

19. 'Fawlty Towers'

John Cleese & Connie Booth wrote the show

20. 'Blackadder Goes Fourth'

Rowan Atkinson (Edmund Blackadder), Tony Robinson (Baldrick), Hugh Laurie (George), Tim McInnerny (Lord Percy) & Stephen Fry (Melchett)

21. 'Dad's Army' was about the 'Home Guard'. It featured:

- Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) - "You stupid boy!" "Don't tell him Pike!"

- Sergeant Wilson (John Le Mesurier) - "Do you think that's wise, sir?"

- Lance Corporal Jones (Clive Dunn) - "Don't panic!!"

- Private Frazer (John Laurie) - "We're doomed. Doomed!"

- Private Walker (James Beck) - "It won't cost you much."

- Private Godfrey (Arnold Ridley) - "Do you think I might be excused?"

- Private Pike (Ian Lavender) - "I'll tell Mum!"

22. 'E.N.S.A.' stood for 'The Entertainments National Service Association'

23. 'It Ain't Half Hot Mum'

Melvyn Hayes, Winsdor Davies & Don Estelle

24. Glen Miller's genre of music was 'Swing'. The instruments which formed his band were:

- Saxophone

- Clarinet

- Trumpet

- Trombone

- Bass

- Piano

25. 'The Great Escape'

Hilts 'The Cooler King', played by Steve McQueen

26. 'From Here To Eternity'

27. David Niven, Gregory Peck & Anthony Quinn

28. Thailand

"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."

(The words were considered too vulgar to include in the 1957 movie, so the tune was whistled instead.)

29. The five 'D Day' landing beaches were:

- Omaha

- Gold

- Juno

- Sword

- Utah

'Saving Private Ryan'

30. Six million Jews died, but with other victims included - Roma, Slavs, handicapped people, Jehovah's witnesses and gay people, the number is nearer 11 million

Oscar Schindler is credited with saving the lives of 1,200 Jews, by employing them in his enamelware and ammunitions factories

31. Pearl Harbour is on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Just west of Honolulu

32. 'Bloody Mary' is made from vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce (and/or Tabasco sauce), salt and pepper to taste and a stick of celery

33. The Queen Mother (Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon), King George V1 & Winston Churchill

(After Buckingham Palace was bombed, The Queen Mother famously said "I am glad we have been bombed. Now we can look the East End in the eye."

34. Douglas Bader

35. Alan Turing, who broke the 'Enigma Code'.

Sadly, he died in June 1954, aged just 41 (from cyanide poisoning) after being chemically castrated, as an alternative to prison, for being gay.

36. Simon Weston

37. Prince Harry established 'The Invictus Games' in 2014

38. Captain Tom Moore. He raised almost £33 million by walking laps of his care home garden with his zimmer frame. He was awarded a 'Golden Blue Peter Badge' for his efforts, but was also Knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours

39. Dame Vera Lynn was also known as 'The Force's Sweetheart'

She was 103 when she died in June 2020 (her date of birth was 20th March 1917)

40. HM Queen Elizabeth 11 was a Driver in the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service. (She reached the rank of Captain.)

41. The complete song titles are:

- I Have .......... Confidence

- Sixteen Going On ......... Seventeen

- My Favourite ...... Things

- Climb Ev'ry ........ Mountain

- The Lonely ........ Goatherd

- Do, Re, .. Mi

- Something .... Good

- So Long, ........ Farewell

- Eidel - ..... Weiss

- The Sound Of ..... Music

42. Christmas Day, 1914

43. The Tower of London

44. The Royal Albert Hall

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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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