War veteran Stan beams with joy after turning 100

Old soldier Stan Burgess was left beaming as care home staff and Royal British Legion members made sure his 100th birthday was a really special day.

A wave from birthday boy Stan.
A wave from birthday boy Stan.

War veteran Mr Burgess, who survived the bloody Battle of Monte Cassino in 1944, enjoyed a cake, cards – including from the Queen – and a birthday tea.

And his big day has also been a big hit on Facebook, receiving over 2,300 likes and over 700 good wishes.

Although current restrictions meant members of the Oakengates branch of the Royal British Legion were unable to give him the celebration they would have liked, they and Oakengates mayor Steve Reynolds went to Cartlidge House residential home in the town where he lives and they and the staff made sure his milestone birthday was marked in a fitting way.

Happy 100th Birthday! With Stan at the front is Kath Henness (operations manager at the home), then back is Jeffrey Turley (president of Oakengates branch of the Royal British Legion, fellow legion members John Forster, Paul Wallace, and Moira Wallace, Oakengates Mayor Stephen Reynolds, and kneeling is Paul Rushworth (RBL branch chairman).

There had been some doubts as former train driver Stan had been a bit under the weather on Wednesday, but on Thursday he wasn't going to miss it.

"He was just outside the door, wrapped up with a blanket in his wheelchair and with his balloon and party hat on," said Moira Wallace, secretary of the branch.

"We took him a cake and some birthday cards and had a nice chat with him. His face just lit up when he saw the cake because it had a railway engine on it – he really beamed.

Former train driver Stan was delighted by his cake.

"He managed nearly an hour with us and then went back to his room where they had organised a birthday tea for him later on. We had some really lovely messages last night from some of the staff saying he had a really nice day, was so pleased to see us, and thanking us for making his day special."

Kath Henness, operations manager at Accord Housing Association which runs Cartlidge House, said: “It’s an honour to care for Stan – he is a wonderful character with a great sense of humour.

"He has thoroughly enjoyed his birthday and has been overwhelmed that so many people have sent him messages wishing him a happy 100th birthday.”

A treasured photograph taken on the eve of the Battle of El Alamein in 1942. Stan is pictured one person in from the right, on the occasion when he met General Montgomery, second from left.

Stan joined the Army in May 1940 and went on to serve with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, the South Staffordshire Regiment, and the Coldstream Guards.

As a young soldier he served in the desert campaign and has a treasured photograph of meeting Field Marshal Montgomery on the eve of the Battle of El Alamein in October 1942.

Later he served in Italy and came through one of the most brutal campaigns of the war, the Battle of Monte Cassino.

After leaving the Army in 1946 he became a train driver based at Wolverhampton.

Most Read

Most Read

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News