20 fun and informative facts about our founder
Recognised worldwide as a social reformer, Abbeyfield founder Richard Carr-Gomm is well known for his mission of alleviating the loneliness that often comes with older age. We’ve collated twenty fun, informative and interesting facts you most likely didn’t know about our Founder.
1. Born 2nd January, 1922 at Mancetter Lodge near Atherstone, North Warwickshire – born a twin, the third of four boys. His twin was miscarried in early pregnancy.
2. Richard lost a kidney and only had one working lung for 40 years.
3. He was a morning person.
4. He served in the Royal Berkshire Regiment and the Coldstream Guards from 1939-1955. Tank Commander and subsequently Major. As a young man he wanted to follow the footsteps of his great, great uncle, Sir William Maynard Gomm, and become a Field Marshal.
5. Kept his beard because he had a much scarred chin from shrapnel wounds from his 2nd World War time service
6. Published his autobiography ‘Push on the Door’ in 1979, published by the Carr-Gomm Society. ‘All things Considered’ was published in 2005 which is an update to his autobiography
7. Great at giving positive feedback and never saw the bad in people.
8. Mother Teresa had tea at his home on several occasions. On one of those visits he gave Mother Teresa a piggy back up six flights of stairs at Morpeth Mansions London and back down again as the lift was not working.
9. Walked everyday, it was like his meditation and he would not be scared to go into someone’s garden to look at a statue or something which has caught his eye.
10. Never said no to a party.
11. Richard Carr-Gomm was a dreadful cook. Cooked perfect runny egg. Loved and made his own fudge. Hid boxes of fudge around his office. Was also known as the ‘King of Fudge’. Mega sweet tooth... had 6 spoonful’s of sugar in his tea.
12. Loved playing back gammon.
13. Awarded the Croix de Guerre in 1944 for bravery. Part of the citation read ‘He had a very marked effect on all those who have fought with him’.
14. He was amongst one of the first troops to arrive at the Belsen Concentration Camp on the 12th April 1945.
15. His grandfather was Francis Carr-Gomm who is known for befriending Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, while serving as the Chairman of the London Hospital.
16. Port or ginger beer were his favourite tipples.
17. He was the subject of ‘This is your Life’ on the 4th November 1957 surprised by Eamon Andrews at BBC Television Centre.
18. Loved the ‘Carry On’ films and watching ‘Dad’s’ Army’.
19. He wrote the book ‘Loneliness’ - the Wider Scene’ in 1987 published by Trafford Publishing.
20. His Funeral was held at St John the Baptist Parish Church at Batheaston on the outskirts of Bath - his cremated remains were laid to rest in the churchyard there. So many people attended the funeral that 400 people were outside the church.