War veteran celebrates 108th birthday at Seaton
PUBLISHED: 12:50 20 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:51 20 February 2020
A card from The Queen and a bottle of his favourite sherry were amongst the many highlights at Joe Daniels’ 108th birthday party yesterday (Wednesday, February 19).
Formerly of Lymebourne Park, in Sidmouth, the war veteran now lives at Netherhayes Care Home, in Seaton, where he is easily its oldest resident.
Representatives of his old regiment - the Royal Corps of Signals - and officials from the Royal British Legion were amongst the guests at the celebrations.
A card from the Queen was presented to him by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Devon Lt Gen Sir Andrew Ridgway.
He said Her Majesty sent him her best wishes - and hoped to send him another birthday card next year.
Cpl Luke Baines, representing The Royal Corps of Signals, presented him with a bottle of his favourite sherry on behalf of the Royal British Legion (RBL).
Mr Daniels, who also likes the occasional glass of Scotch, said the key to a long life was all things in moderation.
Amongst the party guests was Dave O'Connor, an active Sidmouth RBL branch member.
He said: "Joe was born in London 1912 and can still remember it being bombed - he can still remember that and the destruction it caused.
"Joe can recall a time when a bomb fell through the roof of his family's shop, which did not explode and was put in a wheelbarrow and taken away.
"In the second World War Joe was exempt from being called up for national service because he was working in telecommunications. Later he joined the Royal Corps of Signals and served in North Africa and Europe.
"Upon moving to Sidmouth he became a member of the town's Royal British Legion Branch.
"His mind is very active - he remembers everything, and he's such a character."
Born when George V was on the throne and two months before the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank, Mr Daniels has seen 26 different Prime Ministers.
He is believed to be England's fourth oldest resident. The country's oldest woman and man, Joan Eileen Hazard and Robert Weighton, share a birthday on March 29, and are 111. Violet Davies Evans was born a day after them, on March 30, 1908.
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