Former Royal Navy sailor celebrates 101st birthday at a Shoreham care home

A Royal Navy veteran, who toured America has celebrated his 101st birthday with a family party at a Elmcroft Care Home.

Eric celebrated his 101st birthday last week
Eric celebrated his 101st birthday last week

Eric Reed was born in Cuckfield on April 27, 1920, later moving to Washinton.

For his first job, Eric worked as a delivery boy for the local chemist.

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In 1920 Eric volunteered to join the Royal Navy, where he became a Leading Hand.

Throughout 1941, Eric served on anti-subrmarine vessels, patrolling American and Canadian waters after the attack on Pearl Harbour.

The following year, Eric and his crew were rescued from a sinking ship just off New York harbour.

Eric was given 14 days survivors leave in nearby Connecticut, where he joined a football team and played against Yale University.

Upon leaving the Navy, Eric trained as an electrician and opened his own shop in Worthing.

In 1980, Eric married his wife June whom he had met at a dance on Worthing Pier.

In October 2019, Eric moved into Elmcroft Care Home where he celebrated his milestone birthday.

Staff, residents and family came together to celebrate Eric’s birthday, with local signer Jodie Shemmings performing a number of ballads from the 1950’s to the 1970’s in the garden.

Monica Donald, Elmcroft manager, said: “Ever since Eric joined us he has kept us on our toes.

“He has such a positive and determined outlook on life, and I’m so glad we could be a part of his special day.”

When asked what his secret to a long life was, Eric said: “I have been very well looked after all of my life.”