Shobrooke man Dennis receives card from HM the Queen to mark his 100th birthday

By Alan Quick   |   Editorial Manager/Photojournalist   |
Friday 25th September 2020 5:42 am
Dennis Vanstone, who celebrated his 100th birthday on September 23. AQ 9389 ()

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A SHOBROOKE man celebrated his 100th birthday with a lunchtime meal at the Devon Hotel in Exeter with, because of Covid-19 restrictions, just a few close family and friends.

Dennis Vanstone received a special card from HM the Queen on the day of his birthday, Wednesday, September 23 and it took pride of place among the many others he received.

Exeter born, Dennis attended Hayward’s School in Crediton and after leaving school worked on the milk round from Denbury Dairy at 108 High Street.

After leaving the dairy he worked as a bricklayer and aged 20 was called up and joined the Army.

Dennis explained that he was unable to join up earlier as three days before the Second World War broke out he had broken his leg playing football in hob nail boots in the town.

After his training in Derby, Dennis served in the Army in Scotland, Liverpool, Malta, Sicily and Italy.

He spent six years and four months in the Army.

Dennis’s wife Liliana came from Genoa in Italy and the couple married in Venice.

They enjoyed gondola and motor launch rides in Venice.

They have been married for more than 70 years and lived in Mill Street and Butt Parks in Crediton.

Lily (97) is in a home in Dawlish for health reasons and Dennis was recently able to see her for a socially distanced visit, the first time he has seen her since March, but added that they speak on the telephone every day.

The couple have four children David, Shirley, Alan and Dennis and three grandchildren Sarah, Paula and Mark.

Dennis worked on the railways for more than 35 years, finishing as a guard.

He worked for 11 of those years from Crediton Railway Station and then from Exeter Railway Station.

Dennis and Lily moved to Shobrooke in November 1999.

Dennis previously enjoyed being a member of Shobrooke Friendly Club.

Dennis thanked David and his family for their support and for the care he receives from Crediton Care Services.

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