The smile that spans five generations - Norwich man celebrates 100 years

Ralph Burrell celebrating his 100th birthday. Pictured with his great-great-grandson Ralph Freeman,

Ralph Burrell celebrating his 100th birthday. Pictured with his great-great-grandson Ralph Freeman, 4.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Five generations of a man's family were present to wish their 'amazing' patriarch a happy 100th birthday.

Ralph Burrell celebrating his 100th birthday. Pictured with daughter Pauline Freeman, granddaughter

Ralph Burrell celebrating his 100th birthday. Pictured with daughter Pauline Freeman, granddaughter Lisa Freeman (left), grandson Paul Freeman (centre, back), great-grandson David Freeman, great-grandson Alex Freeman (left) and grea-great-grandson Ralph. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Centenarian Ralph Burrell celebrated the milestone with a party at Alfred Nichols Court, Norwich, where he lives in sheltered housing.

Mr Burrell said: 'I've had a contented life. I couldn't wish for a finer bunch of people to have around me.'

Mr Burrell has one daughter, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

But the youngest person at the celebration was four-year-old Ralph Freeman, who was named after his great-great-grandfather.

Ralph Burrell celebrating his 100th birthday. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Ralph Burrell celebrating his 100th birthday. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Sheriff of Norwich Beryl Blower was also there to wish Mr Burrell well.

She said: 'He is a lovely gentleman and is a real Norwich person.

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'He's very lucid and interesting to talk with. How lovely it is for five generations of his family to be here.'

Lisa Freeman, 52, said she was in awe of her grandad.

She said: 'He is amazing. He has always been very kind.

'We always had family holidays together and he always has time for you.'

Mr Burrell also received a message from the Queen, and was presented with a cake decorated with an old photograph of himself from his army days.

Mr Burrell's parents were publicans, and he grew up living in pubs, often playing the piano to entertain the guests.

They ran the Windsor Castle pub in Barrack Street, Norwich, and then The Leopard in Bull Close Road.

Mr Burrell was in the Norfolk Regiment for six years, and served in India during the Second World War after taking part in the Dunkirk evacuation.

After his service finished, Mr Burrell worked in the press room at Norwich's Norvic Shoe Company, a job he did for 35 years until he retired aged 65.

Mr Burrell lived in Heath Road in the city for most of his life.

He now has his own flat and shares daily meals with other residents of Alfred Nichols Court.

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