Basildon war hero to celebrate 100th birthday in lockdown

The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans is sending good wishes to a Basildon man, who due to COVID-19 restrictions will be celebrating his 100th birthday in lockdown instead of being the guest of honour at a birthday party for 140 friends and family.

Don Sheppard, was born in Laindon on May 4 1920. He lives with his wife of over 50 years Sandra and has three children, six grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Don is a Freeman of Basildon and was the chairman of the Normandy Veterans Association – Southend on Sea Borough for over 20 years.

He served in North Africa and Sicily before coming back to Britain for D-Day, landing on Juno Beach, France, on June 6 1944 with 151 Brigade Highland Division.

Jacqui Scott, Don’s eldest daughter, said, “As a family we would like to say how extraordinarily proud we are of Don. He is funny and quick witted if a little deaf! He always remembers to ask after each and every one of us and keeps track of school, college, university and work.

“He is quite simply the very heart of our family and we love him.”

Dick Goodwin, vice president, The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, said, “Don is a very popular member of the charity family and it is a real pleasure to spend time with this gregarious gentleman at the Taxi Charity’s annual summer visit to Worthing which he regularly attends.

“The Taxi Charity committee, volunteer cabbies and veterans would like to wish Don a very happy birthday and we look forward to celebrating with him when the COVD-19 restrictions are lifted.”

Happy 100th birthday Don, and thank you for your service.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]