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Veteran, 101, says coronavirus lockdown ‘worse than the war’

PUBLISHED: 09:34 07 November 2020 | UPDATED: 10:24 07 November 2020

John Lister, 101, a veteran of the Second World War, has been marking Remembrance at Thorp House nursing home in Griston, Watton Picture: Kinglsey Health Care

John Lister, 101, a veteran of the Second World War, has been marking Remembrance at Thorp House nursing home in Griston, Watton Picture: Kinglsey Health Care

Archant

A war veteran who was called up from his father’s Norfolk farm to fight, hours after the D-Day landings, says the lockdown has been ‘worse than the war’.

Wellbeing coordinators Sharon Westwood and Marsha Hughes at Thorp House nursing home where staff have done their best to mark Remembrance within the lockdown guidelines Picture: Kinglsey Health CareWellbeing coordinators Sharon Westwood and Marsha Hughes at Thorp House nursing home where staff have done their best to mark Remembrance within the lockdown guidelines Picture: Kinglsey Health Care

Johh Lister’s comments came as he marked Remembrance Day at Thorp House nursing home, with special events and the help of primary school pupils who made poppies.

The coronavirus lockdown has prevented the home in Griston, near Watton, marking the week around Remembrance Day in the normal way with church visits and displays by pipers and war re-enactment groups.

However, Marsha Hughes, wellbeing coordinator, was determined to still pay a fitting tribute to Mr Lister who fought with the 72nd Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery.

The Kingsley Healthcare home was decorated with poppies made by pupils from Caston Primary School who are welcome visitors to the home in more normal times.

Poppies from Caston Primary School pupils have decorated Thorp House in Griston Watton, which enjoys a link with the school Picture: Kingsley Health CarePoppies from Caston Primary School pupils have decorated Thorp House in Griston Watton, which enjoys a link with the school Picture: Kingsley Health Care

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And residents enjoyed exercising to classic war-time songs such as Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.

Mrs Hughes said: “It’s so important for us to try to keep spirits up during this difficult time.

“John has said to me that the coronavirus lockdown has been worse than the war.”

She said Thorp House had two other residents who had lived through the war – Land Army girls Doreen Woollam, 93, and 95-year-old Beryl Prothero.

“Beryl’s husband Ivor, who also lived with us until his death about two years ago, was a Spitfire pilot who won a gallantry medal when he rescued his co-pilot after the plane crashed,” she said.

“Doreen used to run a Norfolk farm with an elderly farmer, driving a tractor and milking the cows.”


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