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WW2 veteran who just turned 100 shares secret to long and happy life – working hard and weekly visits to the pub

A WW2 veteran who has just turned 100-years-old has shared his secret to a long and happy life – working hard and weekly visits to the pub with friends. 

Ted Gear celebrated his centenary on Saturday and described his life as being “long, exciting and full of memories”.

The former Royal Navy officer was born in Barry Island, South Wales, in 1922 but now lives in a Bield Housing and Care development in Saltcoats, North Ayrshire

A younger Ted in his Royal Navy outfit
Ted in his Royal Navy uniform. Credit: Deadline News

He has been meeting friends every Monday at a local pub for the past 75 years and enjoys OVD dark rum with a splash of water.

Speaking today, father-of-five Ted said: “If I could pass down one big piece of advice to the younger generations it would be to work hard and never let anyone tell you, you can’t do something.

“My life has been long, exciting and full of happy memories. I’m very lucky to have travelled around the world but it’s all been down to my work ethic and graft.

“Working hard was paired nicely with a lot of socialising. My club on a Monday has become a big part of my life and has helped me keep in touch with friends.

“I can’t claim to have been the healthiest over the past 100 years though, I’ve only just quit smoking!

“Looking back over the last 100 years is crazy, the world has changed a lot and I’m glad to have spent it around great family and friends.”

Ted holding his card from the Queen
Ted received Royal congratulations from Queen Elizabeth II. Credit: Deadline News

Ted left Wales after accepting a job with the Merchant Navy as a Deck Charge Officer stationed in Ardrossan, North Ayrshire.

He met his wife at a cafe on Hamilton Street in Saltcoats and wed in 1942 during the Second World War. 

His job in the Merchant Navy took Ted around the world including visits to Myanmar, India and Spain.

He enlisted to serve in WW2 as a part of the Royal Navy before the war ended in 1945.

Ted returned home to civilian life and got a job with British Rail with whom he gave four decades of service before finally retiring, at 80-years-old. 

A birthday celebration with family and friends in attendance was held for Ted at his housing development on Saturday (19 FEB).

He also received a birthday card from the Queen to celebrate the milestone.

Josephine Bruce, manager at Wheatley Gardens development where Ted lives, said: “Ted is a marvel. He is great to have around the development and enjoys a good blether.

“He’s so much younger than his years – always up for a bit of fun and loves to socialise so maybe that’s the secret to having a long healthy life.”

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