Special get together for veterans

ON THE 75th anniversary of VE Day in May, three local Second World War veterans were given a platter of food each and a promise.

“We will meet again after this painful social distancing is over,” said Filippa Genco Russo, of Deli Class in Horsell High Street. “We will bring them together.”

WE MET AGAIN – (from left) Ron Nolan and Wilfred Jackson celebrate their 96th birthday, assisted by Roy Bishop and Caroline Bennfors, who came to know the veterans during the 75th anniversary of VE Day celebrations in May. Picture by Christine Drescher

She was as good as her word and Ron Nolan, Wilfred Jackson and Roy Bishop did meet again.

Ron and Wilfred turned 96 within a day of each other last month and, as promised, Deli Class arranged a celebration garden lunch, complete with homemade cake.

On a gloriously happy day, Ron attempted to turn back the clock by rearranging the candles to make 69, rather than his true age, and talked about being great-great grandfather to two-year-old twins.

He planned to mark the occasion once more at a small gathering of family and friends in his garden.

Wilfred pointed out how proud he was to share a birthday with royalty – Prince George – and also looked forward to celebrating with his son and grandson.

Roy made sure everyone realised that, at 94½, he was the baby of the group, and by some way. He does not even turn 95 until December.

They all reminisced happily, but the war which bound them together was only rarely mentioned.

It was simply a special day for which the three were deeply grateful: the change of scenery, a delicious lunch and, most of all, company. It was the first time since lockdown that they had been able to meet fellow veterans again.

And a memorable occasion finished on an appropriately optimistic note as they agreed their recipe for life – be kind, have respect and enjoy every day.

For more information on the Deli Class food range and takeaway menu, visit www.deliclass.co.uk.

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