Wednesday, 22 May 2024
Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Honouring the 75th anniversary of VE Day – Sally Gordon reflects on military life

COMMEMORATING this year’s Victory In Europe (VE) Day which marks 75 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe, when Germany unconditionally surrendered its armed forces; Sally Gordon, a resident at The Lawn, Friends of the Elderly’s residential care home in Alton, Hampshire, has been reflecting on her time in the military, serving her country.

Sally, who is 80 years old, is too young to remember the War, and the celebrations on 8th May 1945 and didn’t see any conflicts whilst she served in the military. However, she has very strong and fond memories of her time in the British Army, serving in The Royal Signals. 

Sally said:

“I enlisted as I wanted to join up. It was something I felt I had to do. The day I joined, three or four others enlisted with me. It was a lot of fun, but you had to know what you were doing, it was serious work. I enlisted as I needed freedom and structure. You had options as to which regiment you could join. I chose The Royal Signals as it was the best option for me.” 

The Royal Corps of Signals is one of the combat support arms of the British Army. Signals units are among the first into action, providing battlefield communications and information systems essential to all operations.

Sally continued:

“My training was fun but hard work as well. Lots of marching and physical training. We were one big family and were always up to mischief, but we never broke the rules. Marching used to be fun and someone would always do something wrong, so we would have to start all over again. We played pranks on each other all the time, but I’m not repeating any to you.”

Sally met her Husband Richard during her time in the Army, as he also served in The Royal Signals. She said:

“One day when I was with two girlfriends in the Billet, a shelter for the troops where we could gather when we were off duty, having a chat, this man walked in. 

“He asked one of my friends if she had any money so he could get a beer. She said ‘sorry no’, but he kept on and on. In the end, I gave him money so he would leave. He said to me that he’d love me forever, and he did as about three months later we were married.

“I left the military as Richard was posted to Germany and, as his wife, I went with him of course. We had a lovely life together.”

Alina Gutu, the Registered Manager at The Lawn said:

“Sally is such an interesting lady, full of wonderful stories and tales, she’s a real character. Sally is always up for getting involved in the many activities we have going on and has many friends here that she’s often reminiscing with. She’s a joy to have here at The Lawn and there’s definitely never a dull moment when Sally’s around.

“Being in the military was the best time of my life. It was structured and gave me stability. I’ve said it before, but we really were like one big, happy family. If I hadn’t enlisted, I wouldn’t have met my caring, loving Husband. He was a wonderful man who would do anything for anyone, he really was the gentlest man I’ve ever known. I would definitely recommend military life to anyone, it’s the best life ever.”

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