A D-DAY veteran, who provided much-needed medical care to soldiers during the Second World War, has celebrated reaching the ripe old age of 100.
Bob Brett, of Clun Road, Wick, had a party at his home, attended by Littlehampton’s mayor Jill Long, to mark his 100th birthday, on July 25.
Born in London, he was the youngest of six boys.
When he was ten, he joined St John Ambulance.
A year before the outbreak of war, he met his wife-to-be Marguerite, at a dance in Fetham, Middlesex.
Bob married her just as war was announced, in 1939.
During the conflict, Bob’s medical training with St John was regularly called upon. He was seconded to a tank team in the Derbyshire Yeomanry and fought in France, Italy, north Africa and Austria.
He said that he narrowly avoided a shelling attack while stationed near a bridge in Italy.
“We had walked around the bridge the night before,” he said, “Then the following morning when we went out to set off a shell came over me and hit the bridge that we were meant to be on.”
Bob, who has lived in Wick since 1960 and is also known as Ernest and Jim, was originally a postman.
However, a change of career saw him running the General Stores, in Rope Walk, for a decade until the mid-70s. He was also a keen member of the town’s allotment association, helping to organise the Littlehampton Town Show on several occasions.
Bob had two children, two grandchildren and in May this year celebrated the birth of his first great-grandchild, Arthur.