Express & Star

Care home resident joined by fellow war veterans as he reveals secret to long and happy life on 104th birthday

A Kidderminster care home resident and Second World War veteran celebrated his 104th birthday with a wonderful surprise.

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Jack Beavon who recently celebrated his 104th birthday, together with veterans and the Captain of the Mercia Regiment

John Jeffrey Beavon, who lives at Care UK’s Brook Court, in Oldnall Road, was delighted to be joined by a number of fellow veterans and loved ones to mark his special day on Friday.

The team at the care home knew they wanted to do an extra special celebration for John, who is known as Jack.

They liaised with the captain of the Mercian regiment to arrange for other veterans to attend Jack’s party.

Together, the veterans remembered the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen who served in both world wars, in a service of remembrance that began at 11am with a bugler.

Revealing his secret to a long and happy life, Jack, who is well known at the care home for his loving relationship with his wife, said: “Don’t take things too seriously – get yourself a good wife and family to share your memories with.”

With a slice of birthday cake and plenty of special gifts on the day, the team threw Jack a big party and organised a lunch at Brook Court where he was joined by his family.

Jack added: “I was blown away by the regiment coming in and bringing me such lovely presents. I was overwhelmed in the best possible way.”

Lazarus Staziyo, care home manager, said: “Everyone had a wonderful time celebrating Jack’s birthday, and he was particularly pleased to see the former veterans and captain of the Mercian regiment in attendance.

“Jack has been living with his wife Winifred at Brook Court for just over two years now, and it’s fair to say the home wouldn’t be the same without the pair.

"Jack’s wonderful outlook on life never fails to make us smile and his quick wit definitely keeps us on our toes.

“Here at Brook Court, we always strive to make an occasion of birthdays, and Jack’s 104th was no exception.

"The service was very moving, and it meant a lot to Jack to see other veterans there. Thank you to everyone who came and made the day extra special.”

Jack was born in Wolverhampton in 1919 and moved to Stourbridge when he was two-years-old.

Attending school in Oldswinford in Stourbridge, Jack went on to join the army and fight in the Second World War.

He served in Dunkirk, and is now one of the only survivors left.

Jack met his wife at the same period in Kent; they married shortly after then returned home together to Stourbridge.

After returning home from active service, he and Winifred lived with friends for some time before the pair moved into their first home in 1950.

Together, the couple went on to have two daughters, Janis and Christine, and three grandchildren, Adam, Alex and Becky.

Jack and Winifred also have five great-grandchildren – Freddie, Neil, Jack, Tate and Oliver.