Incredible Eddie celebrates 100th birthday and says faith is secret to longevity

He was born just a year after the end of First World War and served in the second but incredible 100-year-old Eddie Budd is showing no sign of slowing down.

Linda Budd and Eddie Budd with relatives Christine Jones and Martin Paul
Linda Budd and Eddie Budd with relatives Christine Jones and Martin Paul

Work brought the grandfather to Shrewsbury in the 1950s where he later set up the EV Electrical repairs shop, in Frankwell, and the popular DJ outfit Sounds International which is still in operation.

The former RAF serviceman was born on December 23, 1920 in Brighton to parents Muriel and Fred. He was the couple's only child and grew up the Hassocks and Burgess Hill areas of West Sussex.

Mr Budd, of Ragleth Gardens, Monkmoor, still drives his car and exercises at a gym in the town.

He says: "People are always asking me what's the secret to living such a full and long life and I always reply that it's down to my Christian faith.

"I've been a committed Christian for 40 years. I believe in God and I believe that Jesus Christ went to the cross and died for me and the whole world. I worship at The Well church, in The Square, in town.

"It's a wonderful life in a world which is upside down with murders and all sorts of sinful things going on."

Twice married he explains that looking back many things had changed in society including higher crime levels, but particularly the faster pace of life and advances in technology.

"I remember the first time I saw a television. It must have been in about 1939 and the picture was yellowish. In those days you had to go and see someone if you wanted to tell them something or write a letter.

"Now I've got a laptop.

Eddie Budd now 100, pictured in the 1940s

"The advance that sticks in my mind the most is that man has been to the moon and back in my lifetime. Now there's talk of booking tickets to travel to space."

"I left school at 14 and Dad got me a place in a garage to learn to be a mechanic. I can laugh about it now, but it didn't go very well. The boss asked me to wash his car and I threw a bucket of water over it and no more.

"He wasn't very impressed and told my dad that I wasn't suitable. I went into carpentry after that.

"My mom died, aged 36, in 1936. I went to live with my aunt and my dad remarried.

"At 19 I joined the RAF and served in Egypt and Italy during the war. When I was in the Western Desert I had a lorry and it was so hot that I could crack an egg on the bonnet and it sizzled.

"I got through the war all right. I do remember though being based at Binbrook in Lincolnshire early on when an enemy plane flew over and dropped a bomb nearby. We were trained to get the guns and shoot at them.

"This one particular day though when I pulled the trigger nothing happened. The gun didn't work.

"Towards the end I was posted in Ireland. Afterwards I returned to England, but there were no jobs and I was on the dole for a while.

"I came to Shrewsbury in the fifties to help build some houses in Harlescott and I've more or less stayed here. Myself and a friend decided to travel to Canada where we worked in uranium mines for three or four years.

"When I got back I met my wife Linda, who is much younger than me, but she said she loved me despite the age difference and we've been married for over 40 years."

They have four surviving children Andrew, 47, Simon, 37, Natalie 31, and Jamie, 29. Another son Matthew tragically died, aged 20, in 2005 after his bicycle and car collided. They also have nine grandchildren.

Mrs Budd says: "Eddie is the loveliest man. He is an incredible person. I'm 61 and I have heart failure. I have to use a walking frame when we go shopping. He walks with no trouble at all."

To mark his century milestone a birthday drop-in event was hosted at The Well for his family and friends. He also received a card from the Queen.

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