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One for the records.

Discussion in 'RM Public Relations' started by Rover, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. Rover

    Rover Moderator

    Oct 23, 2008
    Former Royal Marine George Bradford, 88 still able to do one-handed press ups

    Kent Travel News

    By Tom Pyman

    Having visited all four corners of the world during almost three decades of military service, George Bradford could be forgiven for wanting to put his feet up and enjoy a period of calm, quiet relaxation.

    Particularly having then spent much of his retirement from the forces frantically looking after his beloved wife, who suffered terribly from illness before her death just over four years ago.

    But that’s just simply not the style of a man who, at the ripe age of 88, boasts about still being able to do one-handed press-ups.

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    After more than a quarter of a century in the Royal Marines, George had to condition himself to remain composed under pressure, taking whatever challenges that may have presented themselves in his stride.

    “If you’re a well-disciplined force, you don’t get distressed - I think that’s something that maybe happens afterwards because nothing ever really fazed me,” he said.

    So perhaps his toughest battle came more recently, when long-term partner Janice was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and required round-the-clock care and assistance.

    George recalls: “She would run a bath with hot water and would try and get in - I ‘d literally have to drag her back and turn the temperature of the water down so that it was lukewarm because she would have killed herself.

    “It’s a horrible illness but I couldn’t let it get me down, that wouldn’t do me or my wife any good.

    “I’d put all my energies into helping her but when you have to be awake 24-hours a day, there becomes a point where you just can’t do it any more.”

    As her condition continued to deteriorate, Janice was eventually placed into the care of a nursing home, before passing away in 2015.

    George was then somewhat isolated in a large house all on his own, much to the concern of his daughter Alison, who bought him a mobile phone to use in emergencies.

    “It all came to a head the day she came to the house and I was up a ladder clearing the guttering,” George said.

    “I was 85 then and I just heard this voice saying ‘Dad you’re not picking your phone, you’re up a ladder and this has to stop.

    “She and her brother sat me down and told me I was going to leave this big house and that they were going to find me somewhere more suitable - somewhere with other people.

    “I objected, I said I’m a Royal Marine, I can stay here...but you know what girls are like, they always win, and now I’m pleased she did.”

    The place they had found was one of the assisted living apartments at Queen Elizabeth Court in the Royal British Legion Industries’ Aylesford village.

    Designed with independence in mind, each flat comes unfurnished and features a bedroom, lounge, kitchen, wet room and emergency call facilities.

    George quickly made himself at home and is playing a leading role in giving the place the type of vibrancy many of those moving in may have been desperately missing.

    On Mondays, he operates as a ‘chair fitness’ instructor, to try and keep his neighbours as active as possible, and on Fridays he helps children from local schools develop their reading.

    In between, he organises quizzes and games and writes the residents association newsletter.

    “There isn’t a person living who can say life has gone 100% swimmingly, but I’ve enjoyed it and make no bones about that..." - George Bradford

    “It’s very comfortable here, I’ve made some good friends and most importantly my daughter knows I’m safe,” he said.

    “My phone is still usually switched off, or I can’t find it, but she doesn’t worry any more.

    “I can please myself but if I need help, it’s literally ten seconds away.

    “I still make my bed and do my own ironing and cooking because the independence means a lot to me, and I’ll continue to look after myself for as long as I can.

    “There isn’t a person living who can say life has gone 100% swimmingly, but I’ve enjoyed it and make no bones about that.

    “Life is what you make of it, it’s your own stupid fault if you are moping around doing nothing.”

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  2. doggle

    doggle Valuable Contributor

    Sep 16, 2016
    App Stage:
    A lovely article. And what a wonderful gentleman! Thanks for posting.
  3. westy

    westy Venerated Contributor

    Apr 9, 2009
    I’ll have to keep my eye out and say hello next time I’m at QE Court with work!!
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