Frank celebrates 100 with Budleigh memory cafe
PUBLISHED: 06:30 13 September 2016
A member of Budleigh Salterton Memory Café celebrated a landmark birthday with friends and family.
Frank Thorley, who lives at Roswell Court, Exmouth, was thrown the surprise party to mark his upcoming 100th birthday on September 14.
He was surrounded by fellow members of the club, as well as his son, Keith, who was pleased with how the event turned out.
“It went very well and he seemed to enjoy himself,” said Keith.
“He was very surprised.”
Frank moved to Devon 40 years ago after a life spent working on the railways in Yorkshire.
He was born in Gillingham, Kent, at a time when his father was working in the royal dockyards during World War One.
At the end of the conflict, the family moved to Yorkshire.
Frank left school at the age of 14 and managed to get a job on the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway; it was during this time he worked with a man who was to become his father-in-law.
When World War Two broke out in 1939, Frank volunteered for the army and, with his administrative and clerical background, worked in the war office in London.
He also spent some of the war in the country now known as Sri Lanka and was awarded the British Empire Medal by King George VI for his service in South East Asia.
Once the war was over, he returned to working on the railways, becoming station master at a number of train stations.
He and his wife Mary, who he was married to for 60 years, retired to Colaton Raleigh.
Frank has a great-granddaughter and a six-year-old granddaughter who currently live in Hamburg, Germany.
Another party will take place on Wednesday (September 14) at Roswell Court, with a Hospiscare coffee morning being held for him in the afternoon and a party for friends and family in the evening.