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 100th birthday for WW2 veteran Bill

100th birthday for WW2 veteran Bill

By 18th March, 2021 Press Releases Comments Off

A WWII veteran has celebrated his 100th birthday with family, friends and staff at the Runcorn care home where he lives.

William Porter, who was born on 4th March 1921, received his card from HRH Queen Elizabeth II at Simonsfield Care Home, on Boston Avenue.

He was showered with cards, balloons and gifts from friends and family and treated to a celebratory party to mark his centenary.

The home’s staff set up the lounge with a banner, a “100” balloon from his family, and organised a special 100th card with highlights from the year Bill was born.

They also bought him a crown, played music and everyone in the home sang happy birthday, before sharing a specially made cake from Sue McMahon, the daughter of a fellow resident, Josie.

He also received a visit from his daughter and granddaughter in the home’s specially designed visitor pod on his birthday.

WWII veteran Bill, who is unable to speak due to dementia, conveyed his enjoyment on the day with his body language, laughing and smiling throughout.

Born in Southwark, London, Bill grew up in Peckham with his three brothers and five sisters.

During his younger years, he accompanied his father on his rounds as a rag and bone man. He used to sit in the back of the cart, pulled by their donkey, Kitty.

After the outset of the WWII, Bill met his future wife, Phoebe, in a shelter in an Underground station during a bomb raid.

In 1941, WWII veteran Bill joined the and was posted to the 8th Army. He served in North Africa and then Italy, where he fought in Rome and Sicily. He then fought his way through Europe, finishing in France when the War ended in 1945, eventually being discharged in 1946.

After his return to the UK, Bill married Phoebe in Preston, Lancashire, and the couple had two children.

He got a job in the textile industry in Preston and took up cycling to get to and from work. He also became a Tottenham Hotspur F.C. supporter and attended many matches.

Later Bill and his family moved to Coventry, which was twinned with Coventry in the USA, where they used to holiday with an American family and they in turn came to stay with Bill and his family in Britain.

Bill’s wife, Phoebe, passed away in 1988, and he eventually moved to Simonsfield Care Home in May 2013.

Debbie Smith, home manager at Simonsfield Care Home, said: “Bill is such a lovely gentleman and we were delighted to celebrate his 100th birthday with him.

“We were pleased he was able to see his family in our special visitor pod on his big day and everyone thoroughly enjoyed his party, singing along to the music and being treated to a delicious slice of homemade cake.

“It was a special day for everyone at the home and, of course, especially for WWII veteran Bill. He is unable speak much anymore but his body language, mood, smiles and laughter conveyed that he was having a wonderful time.”