Alan joined the army as a boy soldier aged just 14 years of age. Initially based in Cardiff; Alan moved to Belfast where he quickly established himself as a personal fitness instructor. In July 1944, having become old enough to join the regular Army, he transferred to the Army Air Corps as a paratrooper and went on to fight during the height of WWII - deep behind enemy lines in Germany.
In 1945, when an 18 year old Helen Andrews was told by the Army – “don’t tell a soul where you’ve been” – she followed their orders to the letter. It wasn’t until 70 years later, that Helen was finally happy to share the story about her involvement in the Second World War, her time at Bletchley Park, codebreaking and the Enigma machine.
According to Government figures, around 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month. John experienced intense loneliness when his wife passed away and tells us how he learnt to overcome his feelings of social isolation.