War veteran, Freddie, marks 100th birthday

Freddie Howe (pictured right) marked his 100th birthday at The Orchards care home in Ely on January 11.

Freddie Howe (pictured right) marked his 100th birthday at The Orchards care home in Ely on January 11. - Credit: The Orchards care home

A war veteran who has lived in the Ely area all of his life, marked his 100th birthday on January 11. 

Freddie Howe was surrounded by staff at The Orchards care home in Ely where he lives, as well as his daughter, Janis, to celebrate his special day in ‘true party style’. 

Freddie, who has been living at The Orchards in Forsythia Road since August 2020, is described by his fellow residents there as a ‘well-loved member’ of the family. 

His centenary celebrations began with present opening from family and friends. 

Afterwards, he opened over 70 cards that had been delivered to the home from kind people in the community.

100-year-old Freddie Howe (L) and his daughter Janis (R) who visited The Orchards care home in Ely

100-year-old Freddie Howe (L) and his daughter Janis (R) who visited The Orchards care home in Ely on January 11 to celebrate her dad's 100th birthday. - Credit: The Orchards care home

Kirsty Price, General Manager at The Orchards, said: “It’s always an honour to be able to celebrate our residents’ birthdays, especially when we are celebrating 100 years of life. 

“The close bonds that form between our residents, and between residents and colleagues, really shine through on occasions like this." 

Most Read

In Freddie's younger years, he worked in the telegraph services in Fakenham during the Second World War where he operated teleprinters (electronic typewriters). 

In 1942, aged 20, Freddie was summoned for military service where he did basic training in Yorkshire followed by technical training in Norwich. 

From 1942-1945, Freddie was involved in many campaigns including an invasion convoy from Glasgow which sailed around the south Atlantic for 10 days to Algeria. 

During the afternoon of his birthday celebrations, Freddie enjoyed a lovely birthday lunch and some homemade cake - he even did a birthday speech (and history lesson!) all about his fascinating life he has led so far. 

Freddie received 100th birthday presents from his family, fellow residents and staff at The Orchards care home in Ely.

Freddie received 100th birthday presents from his family, fellow residents and staff at The Orchards care home in Ely. - Credit: The Orchards care home

Freddie said: "I obtained a scholarship at the secondary school in Fakenham where I enjoyed sport and played football for the school. 

“I got working in the telegraph services in Fakenham as my father was a postmaster in Walsingham at the time. I got on really well with his boss. 

“I also ended up working for the Cambridge Telegraphs as they lost a tremendous number of staff to the wartime efforts. 

“After that, that’s when I was called for military service.” 

He added: “The key to life is being content with what you have.” 

Freddie received 100th birthday presents from his family, fellow residents and staff at The Orchards care home in Ely.

Freddie received 100th birthday presents from his family, fellow residents and staff at The Orchards care home in Ely. - Credit: The Orchards care home

Freddie received 100th birthday presents from his family, fellow residents and staff at The Orchards care home in Ely.

Freddie received 100th birthday presents from his family, fellow residents and staff at The Orchards care home in Ely. - Credit: The Orchards care home

Freddie received 100th birthday presents from his family, fellow residents and staff at The Orchards care home in Ely.

Freddie received 100th birthday presents from his family, fellow residents and staff at The Orchards care home in Ely. - Credit: The Orchards care home

Freddie's 100th birthday cake.

Freddie's 100th birthday cake. - Credit: The Orchards care home