‘Once a Marine, always a Marine’: 104th birthday celebrated at care home

Andy Osbourne, Derek Monument, Leo Whisstock pictured with Jesse Webb. Picture: Andy Osbourne

Andy Osbourne, Derek Monument, Leo Whisstock pictured with Jesse Webb. Picture: Andy Osbourne - Credit: Archant

A royal marine has celebrated his 104th birthday, with the help of a local branch of the Royal Naval Association.

RNA Beccles Branch members visited Mr Webb for his 104th birthday. Picture: Contributed by Andy Osbo

RNA Beccles Branch members visited Mr Webb for his 104th birthday. Picture: Contributed by Andy Osbourne - Credit: Archant

Jesse Webb, who served in North Africa, Italy and Palestine during the Second World War, celebrated his 104th birthday on July 25.

To celebrate the milestone birthday, Derek Monument, Leo Whisstock and Andy Osborne from the Beccles branch of the Royal Naval Association (RNA) visited him at the care home.

Andy Osborne, who is in charge of public relations for the Royal Navy Association in Beccles, said: "Derek Monument has heard of his story and we thought we could do something.

"He approached the Beccles branch and said 'why don't we take a cake?'.

Derek Monument and Leo Whisstock pictured with Mr Webb. Picture: Contributed by Andy Osbourne

Derek Monument and Leo Whisstock pictured with Mr Webb. Picture: Contributed by Andy Osbourne - Credit: Archant


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"We agreed with the care home that we could give him a cake for his birthday," Mr Osborne said.

On behalf of the branch, Mr Webb, a resident at Grove Court Care Home in Woodbridge, was presented a "wonderful" birthday cake depicting HMS Beccles - which was commissioned in 1919 when he was four. "He is older than the ship - and he survived," he said.

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Mr Webb was also handed a personalised birthday card which was sign by members of the branch.

"Considering he was 104, he was great. He was overwhelmed, he came downstairs and couldn't thank us enough - he was just overwhelmed," he said.

They shared stories of his time as a marine. Picture: Andy Osbourne

They shared stories of his time as a marine. Picture: Andy Osbourne - Credit: Archant

Mr Osborne said staff and residents alike were "thrilled" by the visit and they shared "a story or two" over tea and coffee.

"There was another man there named Tony, he was 103 and he was extraordinary - he went up stairs and changed into his jacket. He was a veteran of D-Day."

"Tony was the previous editor of the East Anglian Daily Times too," he said.

While they were at the care home, Mr Webb shared stories of his time in the navy and went through old photographs with the three men.

Jesse Webb was presented with a "wonderful" birthday cake depicting HMS Beccles. Picture: Andy Osbou

Jesse Webb was presented with a "wonderful" birthday cake depicting HMS Beccles. Picture: Andy Osbourne - Credit: Archant

Mr Osborne said: "He is a resident at Grove Court Care Home, Beech Way, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4BW, should you wish to send a card.

"Once a Marine, always a Marine," he said.

For more information on the Beccles Branch of the RNA, go to: www.RNABeccles.webs.com.

Mr Webb served in North Africa, Italy and Palestine during the Second World War. Picture: Andy Osbou

Mr Webb served in North Africa, Italy and Palestine during the Second World War. Picture: Andy Osbourne - Credit: Archant

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