Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury WWII veteran celebrates 100th birthday and shares advice on longevity

A retirement home has celebrated the 100th birthday of one if its World War II veterans from Shrewsbury.

John Elliot and his daughter Pat

John Elliot has been a resident in the county town for more than 60 years and celebrated his centenary with family and friends last week at McCarthy Stone’s Stiperstones Court.

Described as one of the retirement home’s ‘most well-liked homeowners’, John’s daughter, Pat, fellow Rotarians, and friends joined him at the retirement home for a party that included live music from a local singer, cake and drinks.

The 100-year-old was originally born in Tooting, London.

He was called to fight for the army in World War Two at the age of 18 - just days after D-Day, and fought in the Battle of Le Havre in September 1944 where the allies attacked a German-held port to enable them to deliver supplies to the allied armies across Europe.

After the war, John married his wife Sheila and moved to Shrewsbury where the couple lived together for more than 50 years.

The war veteran then moved to Stiperstones Court shortly after his wife passed away in 2019.

John has been a member of the Rotary Club since the 1970’s, and regularly enjoyed swimming to keep fit.

The war hero shared his advice on living to 100 after he thoroughly enjoyed celebrating his special birthday.

He said: “It was such a happy event, and I’d like to thank everyone for coming.

“I had a wonderful day and its thanks to all the staff at Stiperstones for making it happen.

“Be as active as you can,” John said as his secret for longevity.

“I’ve always enjoyed being a busy man and up until very recently I’ve always been on the go.

“I had a long career in banking, while also sitting on the Parish Council.

“And I’ve been a member of the Rotary Club since the 1970s. I love ballroom and modern sequence dancing and used to enjoy taking part in dance events across Shrewsbury and the surrounding areas,” John said.

He continued: “I even got to dance at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool.

“Up until a couple of months ago I also swam every day.

“I was an expert at backstroke – in the army I took part in a lot of swimming competitions with fellow soldiers.

“I’m now limited on what I’m able to physically do, but I receive wonderful care from the staff at Stiperstones Court who help care for my everyday needs.

“And I’ve eaten an orange a day nearly all my life which has kept the colds away,” added the centenarian.