A war veteran who served in five different countries has celebrated his 104th birthday.
Charles Ward had a “wonderful party” for his birthday with his family at his care home, Mais House, in Bexhill.
Charles, who served in the London Irish Rifles, was visited by current members of the regiment.
First called up in 1939 at the age of 20, he subsequently served in France, Germany, Italy, India and North Africa before being demobilized in 1946.
His daughter Diana Groat said: “It’s wonderful to celebrate dad’s 104th birthday – such an incredible age.
“The Royal British Legion threw him a wonderful party and he really enjoyed it.
“We haven’t been able to celebrate properly for the past two years due to Covid restrictions so the family particularly enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate with him today.”
Charles was born in South Kirkby, Yorkshire on 16 December before moving to Kent in 1934 aged 15.
Charles has lived at the Mais House for five years and to celebrate his 104th year the house threw a day of celebrations.
He was treated to music by the London Irish Rifles Band, a visit from flag bearers and speeches from his family and nursing home staff.
During his service in Algeria in 1943, Charles’ battalion was attacked, resulting in over 250 deaths in a single day.
Charles then led his section for the Battle of Hill 286 in Tunisia.
He was lucky to survive but sustained injuries to his knee, resulting in his being medically demoted.
Charles was then appointed Special Operations Executive (SOE) where he met his future wife. Margaret Pratt was a 19-year-old First Aid Nursing Yeomanry who had also served as a mobile operator at SOE. Their friendship blossomed over the next two years, and after the war they married.
Margaret died in 2017 and Charles moved to Mais House, where he particularly enjoys watching sports, listening to the radio and gardening.
Claire Bradley, who works at Mais House, said: “It was a pleasure to throw Charles the birthday party he deserved, with live music, visits from his family and a touching video montage shared by his family, friends and the… staff of the nursing home was put together. ”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23213133.war-veteran-celebrates-104th-birthday-bexhill/?ref=rss War veteran celebrates 104th birthday at Bexhill