Budleigh Salterton war veteran Bill turns 105

PUBLISHED: 08:00 13 December 2018

Bill McGregor. Picture: Abbeyfield Shandford

Bill McGregor. Picture: Abbeyfield Shandford

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Friends and family of a Budleigh Salterton World War Two veteran gathered to mark his landmark birthday.

Bill McGregor with his cake marking his 105th birthday. Picture: Abbeyfield ShandfordBill McGregor with his cake marking his 105th birthday. Picture: Abbeyfield Shandford

Former Merchant Navy chef William ‘Bill’ McGregor celebrated turning 105 years old at Shandford Residential Home, in Station Road.

He was joined by his son Alastair and his wife Susan. Town mayor councillor Tom Wright and his wife Angie attended to help Bill, whose life spanned both world wars, mark the special occasion.

Bill received a card from Her Majesty The Queen.

Lorraine Pym, administrator at Abbeyfield Shandford, told The Journal that Bill has the energy and enthusiasm of person much younger than 105.

Bill McGregor. Picture: Abbeyfield ShandfordBill McGregor. Picture: Abbeyfield Shandford

She added: “He is a very spritely man and has an incredible sense of humour. He is the most happy man that we know – he is such a gentleman. We were absolutely thrilled to share this occasion with him.”

Williams McArthur McGregor was born in Stirling, Scotland and worked as a chef on trains and in the Merchant Navy where he was serving during World War Two.

After marrying and becoming a father, Bill moved to the Cheshire area and travelled, helping to set up kitchens for large businesses.

He was a keen bowls player – a hobby which also saw him travel around the north of the country – and continued to take part in events until he reached the age of 99. Bill looked after his wife Constance in the last few years of her life until she died aged 99.

He moved down to Dawlish two years ago to be closer to his son and daughter-in-law and has lived at Abbeyfield Shandford for 12 months.

The 105-year-old is also known as a keen walker and until around 18 months ago still used to go for walks with the aid of a stick - he now uses a frame to help him get around.

According to Lorraine at Abbeyfield Shandford, Bill still enjoys regular trips out in the mini bus and watching tennis and snooker on the television.

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