Our History

The North Memorial Homes Charity was formed following a public appeal headed by Sir Jonathan North, who had been Mayor of Leicester during the First World War. The public support was overwhelming and the amount raised was £106,000, (which would be equivalent to approx. £3 million today.)

The Homes were opened by HRH the Prince of Wales in 1927.

The purpose of the charity was to provide family type accommodation for disabled ex-servicemen linked to the city of Leicester and their families, so that they could live as normal a life as possible in the circumstances. It was a special part of the 'Homes Fit for Heroes to Live In' campaign of the time. This was later extended to cover the Second World War and other hostilities in which British Forces were involved.

For many years all the residents were war disabled or the widows and dependants of war disabled but, as time moved on, families had grown up and left home and in many cases just one partner of a married couple remained. This meant that quite a number of the three-bedroom semi-detached houses were occupied by single persons. For many, their houses were too big, un-modernised and difficult to manage with advancing years.

In 1979 the Management Committee decide that the way forward was to provide smaller units of accommodation and provide homes for couples or single persons. Accordingly, the Charity was registered as a Housing Association in order to take advantage of the government loans and grants available, and a programme of converting the houses each into two self-contained flats started.
This was done as and when the houses were vacated and to date there are now 30 one bedroom flats, with five houses remaining.

Demand for accommodation from disabled ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen had decreased in recent years. However, the founding fathers of the North Memorial Homes were forward looking and wrote the original Deed of Trust (updated in 2007), under which the Charity operates, so that, in the event of there being no war disabled to fill the vacancies, other people could be admitted too.