Centenarian Jack keeps promise by making it to 100

JACK Townsend always told his children: “I’ll be here when I’m 100.”

And Jack has proved himself a man of his word by keeping that promise with a little help from his daily dose of tea and toast.

The Second World War veteran, who lives at Dearnlea Park Care Home in Thurnscoe, celebrated his landmark birthday on September 9 with a visit from family and friends.

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Great Houghton councillor Cllr John Foster arrived by bike to deliver what is believed to be one of the last 100th birthday cards signed by Queen Elizabeth II.

Jack, who was born John Townsend in Manchester, signed up to the army at the just 18 and served in Belgium during the Second World War.

He was on the receiving end of a German bombing raid, which led to him losing sight in one eye.

After being demobbed, Jack entered the engineering trade and specialised in heating, a role he maintained until he was 70 and which saw him travelling the country.

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His daughter, Pat Townsend, recounted how John and his late wife Mary were married for 65 years, living in Bolton, Greater Manchester, and welcoming two children and two grandchildren.

John moved to South Yorkshire two years ago to be close to his daughter and her family.

Pat said: “When he was growing up, my father was a big gardener and had a greenhouse which he adored.

“During his time with my mother, he also loved going on holiday.

“These days, he does a crossword every single day.”

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Pat was initially unsure as to what has kept her father going for such a long time, adding: “Well, he doesn’t drink and he doesn’t smoke.”

But, after a moment’s pause, she added: “All his life, my dad has had a cup of tea and a slice of toast.

“Even now, at the care home, he has that meal every single day.”