Geoffrey was born in Hackney, London in 1923. His family came from Poland to England in the late nineteenth century and settled in London where Geoffrey lived with his parents and younger sister. In 1943, aged 20, Geoffrey joined the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry Tank Division, fighting in the 2nd World War in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Geoffrey spoke French and German which was very useful and he was involved in communications.
When the War ended, Geoffrey stayed in the Army for two more years, was promoted to Sergeant, and worked in the Intelligence Corps. Like many who served in World War 2, Geoffrey seldom spoke to anyone about his experiences, preferring to keep what he had been through to himself, so his family know little of what he endured during his 2 years in combat. However, his sister often told the story of one occasion when she had gone to the cinema to watch a film. During one of the Pathe newsreels about the War, shown at the cinema, she saw a tank with a man on top of it and his face then filled the cinema screen – it was her older brother Geoffrey fighting in Europe! Shocked and surprised, it was at that time that she fully realised what her brother, and many like him, were undertaking for our country and the great danger that they faced. She was very upset, but at the same time very proud indeed.
When Geoffrey left the Army, he went to work at the Tax Office and a Supervisor in the Post Office and British Telecom. Geoffrey never married but devoted his life to caring for his mother until she sadly passed away in 1973. After he retired, he moved to Kent and pursued his hobbies which included running 12 miles per day – something that he did into his early 80s. Geoffrey loved cars and was the proud owner of a Ford Buckler Special. He also enjoyed collecting stamps, sketching and spending time with family. He would stay with his niece, Carol, for holidays by the sea and Carol says, ‘We loved being with Uncle Geoffrey as he is a lovely person, very well read and interesting, and he would always take us for lovely meals out which we greatly enjoyed.’
Sadly Geoffrey had a stroke in 2017 which left him unable to look after himself and needing round the clock care. He came to Care for Veterans in November 2017 and the location here in Worthing is perfect for his family who live locally.
Geoffrey says what he likes most about Care for Veterans is the peace and quiet and he loves to sit and relax in the tranquil gardens. His family are nearby and visit often, including his 94 year old brother in law.
His nieces Carol and Steph are also frequent visitors and are so pleased their beloved uncle is nearby. Steph says, ‘What we appreciate most about Care for Veterans is that Uncle Geoff’s safety and comfort are guaranteed here. We know he is well looked after and when he became poorly recently, the staff picked up on this immediately, and got him instant attention so the condition did not become serious. How reassuring for us to know he is in very safe hands and that he is as content as he possibly can be.’ Carol adds, ‘The care staff here are so kind to Uncle Geoff and they tell us that he is one of the nicest people they have ever met as he is so polite and well-mannered, and he appreciates everything that is done for him.’
Carol and Steph so appreciate the care and attention given to Geoffrey that they have decided to become more involved. Steph is a member of a singing group who are coming to entertain our residents with singing, piano playing and poetry. Carol has signed up to become a volunteer, donating her time to help in our Social & Recreation department, being an escort on the trips out and reading and chatting with our veterans. Carol says, ‘This is such a wonderful and special place and Uncle Geoff is so well looked after that Steph and I just wanted to help and to give something back.’