RAF veteran couple are together forever

Gordon and Mabs Simmons. (s)
Gordon and Mabs Simmons. (s)
Share this article

Clitheroe RAF veterans Gordon and Mabs Simmons have been married for 68 years so when their care needs meant they needed to leave their home, their family were determined to keep them together.

Then as care costs threatened to overwhelm the couple’s two sons, the RAF Benevolent Fund stepped in to help.

Gordon (97) and 98-year-old Mabs, have lived in Clitheroe for almost 30 years. Sadly, Mabs suffered a fall at the couple’s home which required several weeks’ convalescence in hospital, during which time she was not able to care for Gordon who has short term memory loss. Following her recovery, Mabs, who is blind, needed extra support at home so the couple moved into a care home.

The couple’s son, Adrian, said: “It is really nice to know that mum and dad are in a place that has very caring staff and great facilities. We could not ask for anything more. It has taken a great weight off for my parents. Mum has always been the worrier of the family. Mum is very grateful this money has allowed them to be completely happy and completely safe. Both my brother and I have retired, it is a great weight off our shoulders to know they are well cared for.

The couple met while serving in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War and were married in 1950. On leaving the RAF, Gordon became a Methodist Minister and, supported by Mabs, the pair moved around the country, ministering to a new community every three or four years.

Air Commodore Paul Hughesdon, RAF Benevolent Fund Director of Welfare and Policy, said: “Last year the RAF Benevolent Fund spent over £475,000 on care-home top-up fees ensuring our elderly RAF veterans and their partners can live in comfort and dignity into their retirement years. This is just the case for Gordon and Mabs Simmons who both served in the RAF during the Second World War.

“Providing help with top-up fees is just one of the many ways the RAF Benevolent Fund supports carers and those who need care. For example, the Fund also has a Carers Support Package for those who are caring for a loved one at home.

“The Fund’s vision is that no one in the RAF Family should ever face adversity alone.

“So, if you know of an RAF veteran or their partner/widow or widower who is struggling with financial or care issues, contact 0800 169 2942.”