Worcestershire war veteran who is among Britain's oldest men turns 107 - The Worcester Observer

Worcestershire war veteran who is among Britain's oldest men turns 107

Worcester Editorial 15th Apr, 2024   0

A MALVERN Second World War veteran who is Britain’s 16th oldest man has celebrated his 107th birthday.

Frank Chester, who now lives at Sanctuary Care’s Hastings Residential Care Home, celebrated his birthday in style surrounded by loved ones.

Born and raised in Ludlow, Shropshire, Frank spent his younger years working in HM Customs and Excise in London before he was called up to serve his country during the Second World War.

Frank trained as a Royal Naval Officer and was later promoted to First Lieutenant Officer aboard HMS Honeysuckle.

His journey in the Royal Navy took him all over the world, and in one mission, his ship was attacked by German planes as they escorted two submarines which had to come above the surface of the water off the Norwegian coast.

The birthday boy said: “When I signed up for the Navy, I imagined spending my days on a cruiser in a warmer climate but instead, ended up on a rusty, old ship that needed painting in Liverpool”.

“When we saw the German aircraft, we knew it was coming for us.

“I knew they were going to bomb us.

“I could hear a knocking sound but quickly realised it was my knees knocking together.”

After the war, Frank moved to Walsall where he met his wife-to-be, actress Lily.

He said: “Six weeks later we decided we were going to spend the rest of our lives together – Lily was the best thing that happened to me.”

The happy couple then went on to have children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren together.

Frank said the secret to his longevity is his faith, coupled with ‘sitting down whilst putting his trousers on’ – ensuring he does not fall over.

He added: “The Lord has been very kind to me every day – I say my prayers every morning and thank him for giving me another day.”

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