One question…

Dear Mr Burbridge and Mrs Guthrie,

I am sorry to hear about the fate of your father, Wing Commander Bransome Burbridge. Alzheimer’s is a cruel thing to suffer and I hope his last days, however long they may be, are as comfortable as you can make them.

Your efforts to cover his care costs are commendable and the decision to turn down offers of help must have been a difficult one. However I do have one question for you both.

Assuming you are quoted accurately across the two articles in the Telegraph, we have the following quotes from the 26th:

Mr Burbridge said it is a shame they had to sell the medals but feel they had no option in terms of financing their father’s care.

“After his working life he doesn’t have that much [in savings] and it isn’t enough to cover the costs.

“We thought, as he is the person who won these decorations, it is only right he should benefit from them in some way while he is still alive.

“Our family wouldn’t want to sell them if he wasn’t going to benefit. We’re reluctant to do it but we believe it is the right thing.

“It’s a shame but we are quite philosophical about it.

“I don’t think there is some sort of huge debt he is owed. He was happy to do the remarkable things he did and he survived. We value him more than we do his medals.”

and this from the 27th:

He said other families were not lucky enough to have such memorabilia to help fund their relative’s care, with some forced to even sell their homes.

My apologies if I have got my facts wrong but it seems to me after reading these quotes that the one thing you value more highly than your father and his medals is the house he and his wife lived in before she died and he went into care. Could this be because it will be worth more to you once he dies than the sentimental value of his medals?

Misanthrope Girl


  1. WitteringsfromWitney says:

    A very reasonable opinion and I fail to see why you feel it might raise eyebrows. I too would have thought that medals won defending your country would be something that a family would wish to hand down to generations to come.

  2. john77 says:

    While I may be wrong it reads as though it is the family’s home that they are living in, rather than the vacant house that the patient no longer occupies, that would “even” have to be sold. In which case these two are well-meaning but have not been adequately briefed on the regulations.

    • Misanthrope Girl says:

      It isn’t clear – and I do hedge my bets in my final paragraph – but my interpretation from what I have read is that the Wing Commander and his wife were living independently (with her being his primary carer) until she died at which point he was been moved to a care home, leaving his house vacant.

      • john77 says:

        But owned by whom? If he worked for Scripture Union he didn’t get paid enough to buy a private sector house and he was, at 59, too old to get a mortgage when Right to Buy came in in 1980.