Appeal to help Second World War veteran celebrate 103rd birthday in lockdown

PUBLISHED: 07:23 01 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:57 01 May 2020

Fred Rawes who is 103 on May 22. Staff at Burlingham House Care home are appealing for the public to send in 103 cards Picture: Burlingham House

Fred Rawes who is 103 on May 22. Staff at Burlingham House Care home are appealing for the public to send in 103 cards Picture: Burlingham House


A care home is calling on the public to send 103 cards to mark the 103rd birthday of second world war veteran who is proud of his service.

Pictures have been shared on social media of Fred Rawes holding the card he sent to Captain Tom Moore, who raised over £30m for the NHS with sponsored laps of his Bedfordshire garden.

Mr Moore, nicknamed Captain Tom, received some 125,000 cards for his 100th birthday on April 30, including the one from Mr Rawes expressing solidarity with the centenarian.

Sharon Plane, manager at the Burlingham House Residential Care Home, near Acle, where Mr Rawes lives, said the 102-year-old had taken a great interest in Captain Tom’s story which had shone a spotlight on the debt of gratitude owed to those that fought in the conflict.

Mrs Plane said Mr Rawes, who moved to the home from Hellesdon two years ago, was “a real character and an amazing gentleman.”

Although he was fairly frail and in bed most of time he was very vocal and had definite opinions, she said.

“He can tell you what regiments he was in and is very proud of his service.

“He always likes to know when VE Day is and obviously enjoyed seeing Captain Tom’s story. Fred knows all about that.”

She said the home had made a card for Captain Tom and that Mr Rawes had dictated his own message wishing him a happy birthday and telling him he spent time in both the Army and Navy and that he was going to be 103 on May 22.

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She added it was important to Mr Rawes that people still remembered war, especially in this 75th anniversary year.

He was in the Royal Mechanical Engineers with the 8th under General Montgomery as a radio engineer and served in North Africa and in Italy.

A post on the care home’s Facebook page is being widely shared.

It says: “Our beautiful Fred is 103 years young on May 22.

“He is Burlingham’s gentleman who has served both in the Army and Navy.

“We are asking in absolutely kindness if anyone would be able to send our Fred a card, note, or letter for his 103rd birthday.

Cards can be posted to Fred, Burlingham House, Dell Corner Lane, Burlingham, NR13 4EQ.

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