Exmouth centurian Geoff is ‘chuffed’ with parties

PUBLISHED: 08:55 23 December 2014 | UPDATED: 08:55 23 December 2014

Geoff Freestone celebrates his 100th birthday with his son and daughter, Paul Freestone and Ann Greenfield, grandson Iain Freestone and great grandson Sam Freestone. Ref exe 3502-50-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton.

Geoff Freestone celebrates his 100th birthday with his son and daughter, Paul Freestone and Ann Greenfield, grandson Iain Freestone and great grandson Sam Freestone. Ref exe 3502-50-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton.

Archant

A great-grandad from Exmouth celebrated his 100th birthday with two parties at his home in Douglas Avenue.

Geoff Freestone celebrated with his partner Vera Mayhew and his neighbours last Thursday when the hand bell ringing group that he founded in 1998, the Talatones, performed, writes Daniel Wilkins.

His family arranged a party for him on Saturday where relatives and friends arrived from across the country.

Geoff also ‘punched the air’ with delight when the telegram from the Queen arrived, according to his son Paul, who said: “Both parties went very well, he was really quite chuffed with the turnout. He’s in particularly good health and he’s got all his marbles for sure.”

Geoff was a member of the Territorial Army and was called up in September 1939 to serve in the Royal Artillery.

The former tower-bell ringer was discharged in 1946 and was on hand at Canterbury Cathedral to ring the bells for VE Day.

Geoff was married to Eileen Wench in 1938 and he has two children, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

He started work in Hertfordshire council either side of the war and then transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food. He retired in 1977 and he and Eileen moved to Ottery St Mary in 1980. They lived there until Eileen passed away in 1992.

In 2013, Geoff moved into his current address with his partner Vera, who he met while volunteering for a hospital car service.

Paul said his dad is a modest man who enjoys life and he conducts all his business on his iPad.

A spokesman for Roswell Court, where Geoff lives, described him as ‘a remarkable man’.

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