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90th anniversary year for our Rosendael residence

SVR’s Dundee residence Rosendael is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. The first ever residents at the home in Broughty Ferry moved in on 12 February 1933 and the official opening took place on 3 May, 1933.

It's hard to imagine just what it was like back then, but we can tell you that more than 2,200 Veterans have lived at Rosendael since February 1933. We know this because every single name is entered into the register. We are digitising the register so that we can better understand who was here and what happened to them.

The first name written in the register is S J Jolly, of Southport. Back in 1933 there were different types of residents – a mixture of pensioners living at the residence permanently, some elderly and infirm, weekly boarders, and workers who received free bed and board with a small weekly grant.

Men, because it was all men back then, lived in dormitory rooms and worked in the garden to grow food for the kitchens. The menus have also changed a lot in 90 years. Back then, tea was often a three course affair.. . of bread, margarine and jam! But other days were more generous with beef cooked every which way being the staple, and of course fish on Fridays. Puddings were not mentioned though!

“We've come a long way in 90 years,” said our Rosendael manager of today Graeme Watson. “The original rules of residence required all to abide cheerfully by all the rules; to faithfully perform allotted duties; and insubordination or idleness may lead to immediate dismissal. We have a lot of history here at Rosendael and there is a lot can be learned from it as we move forward towards our centenary."

SVR, then known as The Scottish Naval and Military Veterans' Residence, is the country's oldest ex-service charity and was founded in 1910. In 1911 it opened the doors of Whitefoord House in Edinburgh to veterans, and Rosendael became the organisation's second national residence just over two decades later.

Our 1932-33 report noted: “Rosendael was gifted [to SVR] by Mrs J.C.Gibson and dedicated to the memory of her brother John Normansell Kyd, as a residence for veteran sailors, soldiers and airmen; Frances Baillie Kyd (1847-1923); and Lieutenant Frank Proctor Kyd, 11th Battalion the East Surrey Regiment, killed in action, August 1916, aged 28 years.”