Celebrating amazing people at Barchester Healthcare
From working as a florist serving Buckingham Palace to dining there as a guest and meeting the Queen, Lady Rosemary Kilner Brown has had a royally fascinating life…
At Barchester we pride ourselves on delivering person-centred care throughout our care homes and our dedicated staff spend quality time getting to know the people living with us. Discovering everyone’s personal stories and life history really matters to us.
We are proud to share with you the lovely story of Lady Rosemary Kilner Brown who lives at Hurstwood View Care Home in Five Ash Down.
Rosemary was born in India in 1920, where her father was based as a Cavalry Officer and had been serving in the First World War. During his service in India, Rosemary’s father was awarded the Military Cross for his service.
When Rosemary was seven, her family moved back to Woodbridge in Suffolk where Rosemary spent her childhood. But as a military family, it wasn’t long before Rosemary was on the move again, this time to London.
As a young woman, Rosemary worked at Moyses Stevens, the famous florist in London, often creating beautiful displays for Buckingham Palace. To this day Rosemary still enjoys floristry and often creates beautiful floral displays along with other residents at Hurstwood View.
As World War II descended on Europe, Rosemary joined the Auxiliary Territorial Services and at one time was in charge of a squad of ATS girls doing exercises in Hyde Park. This is where she met her husband Ralph.
Ralph was one of the six advisors who helped Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery plan D-Day, for which he was awarded an OBE.
After the war, Rosemary and Ralph returned to their careers, Rosemary as a florist and Ralph as a High Court Judge. Yet Rosemary’s lifestyle would change when Ralph’s knighthood lifted the couple into aristocracy. She went from creating floral arrangements for Buckingham palace to attending social events there, meeting the Queen and Queen Mother on several occasions.
Rosemary certainly had an extraordinary life and we feel privileged to be able to share her amazing story. We would like to thank Lady Rosemary and the Kilner Brown family for sharing Rosemary’s life history with us.
Barchester believe it’s vital for us to celebrate the extraordinary and very personal events that have shaped the lives of the individuals living in our care homes. Knowing and respecting our residents is the basis of our person-centred care approach. Stories such as Rosemary’s are both a vindication of that approach and a fascinating collection of memories in their own right.