Residents at a veterans' home in Surbiton shared their memories of the outbreak of the Second World War, which falls a week today on September 3.

A number of residents at the Royal Star and Garter (RSG) veterans' home in Surbiton gathered to share their memories of the fateful moment when then Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announced that Britain had declared war on Germany.

The 80th anniversary of the moment will be observed in the UK next Tuesday (September 3).

In anticipation, residents at the Surbiton home and other RSG homes across the UK shared their fascinating personal memories of the historic moment when Britain and France went to war with Nazi Germany.

Surrey Comet:

Surrey Comet: Phyllis Hales in WAAF uniformPhyllis Hales in WAAF uniform

One of those was Phyllis Hales, who lives at the Surbiton home and was 17 when war broke out.

"I remember sirens going and we were all a bit concerned.

"We thought there was going to be an air raid. It was something new and we thought that could happen, but it didn’t.

"I was at Home in Acton. We heard it on the radio. I was 17 and I did feel scared. My parents were there," she remembered.

At the war's pivotal moment in 1942, Phyllis joined the Womens' Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) to contribute to the war effort aged 19, and served until 1946.

Surrey Comet: Betty DawsonBetty Dawson

Surrey Comet: Betty Dawson in wartime uniformBetty Dawson in wartime uniform

Another Surbiton resident, Betty Dawson, recalled her mother's advice after air raid sirens sounded in Leeds shortly after war was declared.

"I was at home in Leeds with my mother and the siren went.

"We had a big grandfather clock in one of the recesses. She made me stand on one side. I don’t know why, she thought we were safe.

"War had been declared and in no time the siren went," she recalled.

Like Phyllis, Betty joined the WAAF in 1942, aged 20, serving until 1946.

Solihull resident Joan Sprigg was a 15-year-old at the time war broke out.

"My mother cried and said, ‘life would never be the same again’.

"My father looked very grave and serious. He served in the First World War and all those memories were very fresh in their minds," she said.

In 1942 Joan joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) and served in the 2nd Anti-Aircraft Group Command at RAF Uxbridge.

RSG Homes is a charity founded in 1916 to care for the severely injured men returning from the battlegrounds of the First World War.

Today the charity offer state-of-the-art Homes for veterans with a pioneering approach to nursing, dementia and therapeutic care.

They have award-winning Homes in Solihull, West Midlands and Surbiton, Surrey.