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WW2 Veteran enjoys respite break with Help for Heroes.

A World War Two veteran is currently enjoying a well-deserved respite break at Tedworth House Recovery Centre.
Arthur Thomas Coggins, 89, joined the Navy in 1942. During the Second World War, he patrolled the Norwegian coast and the Arctic waters including Arctic Convoys on HMS Dido– for which he received Ushakov Medal – a military honour by Decree of the President of the Russian Federation for his personal courage and bravery displayed in WWII.
After the war ended, Coggins transferred to a different ship called the HMS Wren and was sent to the Persian Gulf to patrol between Basra and Bahrain. Unfortunately, during this time, Arthur contracted dysentery, which is part of Reiter’s disease – something that unfortunately he still suffers with.
He was discharged from the Navy after being sent home in 1947 – “I spent months in and out of the hospital yet the Reiter’s disease led to ankylosing spondylitis – a type of arthritis in which there is long-term inflammation of the joints of the spine. It was a shame because I didn’t want to leave the Navy but it reached the point where I had to.”
Arthur rejoined civilian life and had an incredibly interesting career. He went into the Aerospace Engineering industry which, like the Navy, took him all over the word. He worked as a senior designer on the Concorde and attended an exclusive lunch on the day of the final Concorde flight.
Sadly, after 63 years of marriage Arthur’s beloved wife Barbara passed away in 2014 – Arthur stayed in the family home but after a few falls his daughter decided that he should move in with her.
Throughout his life, Arthur has had injections in his spine to help with his condition – and recently in hospital, he was sat next to an ex-soldier who asked him why he was there, when Arthur said he was having injections due to a naval injury – the man gave him a Help for Heroes leaflet.
Arthur’s daughter had a trip booked to see her sister in South America before Arthur moved into her home, and after getting in touch with them – Help for Heroes offered Arthur two weeks of respite care whilst his daughter was away.
Since arriving at Tedworth House Arthur has been doing lots of different things “We’ve visited the Portsmouth Dockyard, which has changed so much since last time I went – it was marvellous. I also visited the Tin Hut (the birth place of Help for Heroes) which was fabulous, everyone there was so friendly and welcoming.”
Whilst I’ve been here I’ve had nothing but kindness and consideration the treatment is an example that they are very friendly and very considerate that was a real pleasure.
There are lots of things that you can do from here that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to do anywhere else. If you visit the house and see the facilities they have here then you would also be as astounded as I was, and still am. I would give it 10/10. It feels like I’ve never left the services –it’s been fantastic.”
If you would like to support others like Arthur please visit http://helpforheroes.org.uk/give-support/ to see how you can do your bit.


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