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WW2 Army veteran celebrates his 100th birthday at The Royal Star & Garter Homes

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Army veteran Douglas Jakeman celebrated his 100th birthday with a party surrounded by family, friends and fellow residents at The Royal Star & Garter Homes, Surbiton. Staff at the Home worked together with Douglas’s daughters to ensure he had a party to remember.

It was a jubilant afternoon, filled with entertainment by local musical duo ‘A Couple of Swells’, champagne, delicious birthday cake and exuberant well-wishing from guests. Douglas was life and soul of the party, dancing with his daughters and chatting with guests throughout the celebrations.

Douglas’ daughter Brenda gave a heartfelt speech about her dad; “All of the family love you, Dad. I would like to thank you and Mum for starting our family all those years ago. We are very proud of you. You are our hero and always have been. We hope to have many more happy times like this together.”

Commenting on his party, Douglas said, “Thank you all so much for being here. I’ve had a great time.”

Douglas joined the 9th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers during the Second World War. As well as a qualified mortar gunner, Douglas was a tank driver in North Africa and Italy. He was captured and taken prisoner in September 1943 and held as a Prisoner of War camp in Poland until liberation in April 1945. He now lives with dementia at the Surbiton Home where he receives the specialist care he needs to enjoy life to the full.

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