White House Care Home resident and Second World War veteran Len was last week reunited at our care home in Letchworth Garden City with a member of the Belgian family that he stayed with while liberating Belgium.
Located in Poperinge in late 1944, Robert and Anna Lemahieu, and their two young children Nelly and José welcomed Len to their home whilst his regiment awaited new comet tanks.
Following the war, Len who is now 98, fell out of touch with the family. In a wonderful turn of events, Nelly made the trip over to our care home from Belgium to see Len after 79 long years.
Over the years there have been efforts from both families to try and reunite Len with the Lemahieu's, and it was only when a social media post made its way to Nelly in 2021 that she was able to track down Len.
Much to Len's surprise, Nelly visited alongside Fleur and Jocelyn, two of Josés children. Sadly, José passed away some years ago so it was lovely for Len to still make this connection with him through his children.
We were delighted to be able to accommodate this reunion at our care home, especially for much-loved resident Len, who was born in Chiswick and joined the B Squadron of the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment as a tank driver and engineer in 1943, when he was just 18.
Len fought battles in Normandy and was involved in the liberation of Antwerp. Len's following years saw him continue to serve in the army, be given the title of Corporal, and also serve in Hong Kong.
After serving in the military, Len went on to work as an engineer and eventually became a plant engineering manager. Len lived in Stevange for 67 years where he was a member and former player of the town's Bowls Club and a keen supporter of Stevenage FC, to which he still very much is.
This occasion has been so special, particularly as we approach Remembrance Day, which as a home we will be recognising through various activities and events.
Len has excitedly been invited to visit Poperinge where he will be a guest of honour as they mark the 80th anniversary of the town's liberation.
You can read more on the wonderful story and Len's own account of Poperinge here by The Comet.