John is 96 years old and has been a resident at The Beeches for nearly five years, and is very much beloved by staff and residents alike.
In his younger years John worked as a food scientist in Australia, and flew Spitfires in the First World War. He recalled that whilst travelling as a civilian on the 2nd Queen Mary line from Portsmouth to Melbourn he remembers drinking Coca Cola.
John said: “You only get one meal on the ship, and water to drink. But their was also a vending machine on board, which was free.
“You put your token in and out popped a bottle of pop”.
In order to keep their location secret from potential enemies, guests and crew were ordered to smash their Coca Cola bottles in a designated area of the ship to ensure enemies couldn’t follow the floating bottles in the ocean.
After hearing his story Activities Coordinator Marie asked John if he would be happy to share his story with the wider world, and in particular Coca Cola themselves. John and Marie drafted a letter together which they sent to the company’s head offices.
It meant the world to Marie to receive a message from the official Coca Cola Facebook account for Great Britain, who were thrilled to hear John’s story.
Here is the response from Coca Cola:
Dear Marie, John and all the residents of The Beeches.
Thank you for the kind words in your message and for sharing John’s amazing story with us. We are thrilled to hear that he has been a lifelong fan of Coca-Cola and very touched by his anecdote from the world war.
As this time has been extremely challenging time for everyone, we’d be delighted to arrange some products be delivered to John and his family as a thank you for sharing such a lovely memory and showing continued support of the Coca-Cola brand.
Wishing you all the best.
Coca-Cola Great Britain.
In response to this wonderful interaction the home received a delivery of 24 glass bottles of Coca-Cola to gift to John. He was absolutely stunned to receive the surprise and is enjoying the nostalgic taste and memories this brings back for him.
We wanted to say a huge thank you to Coca-Cola for taking the time to give John a truly special day, and a huge well done to Marie and the whole team at The Beeches for making this happen. You all did an amazing job!