Bedecked with union flags and a blaze of red, white and blue decorations, Spring Lodge care home in Woolverstone is all set for its big jubilee party on Friday (3rd).
However, amid the excitement of the occasion, one resident’s thoughts have turned back to the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 in which he played his own part in the magnificent pomp and ceremony.
Eighty eight-year-old Derrick Landells, who has lived with his wife Rosemary, 82, at Spring Lodge since November 2020, was an 18-year-old at the time completing his National Service in the Irish Guards.
Not only was he on parade in London during The Coronation, but he played his part again during a Coronation tour in which the Queen and Prince Philip visited Stormont, in Northern Ireland.
Mr Landells’ 6ft 1in height was a factor in him being chosen as a flag bearer on both occasions.
He recalled: “They said to me, ‘whatever you do, don’t drop it’. It was quite heavy! I attended other events at which Her Majesty was present and at one of them she came and spoke to us afterwards and said to me, ‘Thank you very much’.”
A photo of the Queen and Prince Philip inspecting the troops at Stormont has pride of place on his bedroom wall.
After his National Service, Mr Landells settled in Ipswich with his first wife Jennifer with whom he had two sons, Greg and Steve.
Among various jobs during his working life, he was a printer with the East Anglian Daily Times.
He was a keen footballer for many years and played for a number of local teams, including Bramford United and Electric Supply.
He wed Rosemary, who has two sons from her first marriage, in 1991.
His family recently took him on a visit to The Guards Museum in London where there is a large photograph of him on display.
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Author: Stephen Pullinger