A Normandy veteran has been sent more than 2,700 birthday cards as he turned 100 after an appeal to help him celebrate his centenary in lockdown went global.
Tommy Trotter, a former Northumberland Fusilier, said he felt spoilt and was “over the moon” after seeing all the cards laid out at The Last Post bar in Thornaby, Teesside.
Among them was a letter from the Prime Minister thanking him for his service, and congratulating him on his landmark birthday.
The Last Post, which has a military memorabilia theme and looks after veterans, is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic but Mr Trotter is in a bubble with landlady Julie Cooper, who helps to looks after him, although he lives alone with assistance from relatives.
She said: “The cards have come from all over the world.
“We got the message out via Facebook, then Regiments shared them, and it went far and wide.”
She said Mr Trotter liked to share his wartime experiences with the younger generations.
“We love him, he’s part of the family and he has been through lockdown with me since day one,” she said.
Mr Trotter joined the D-Day landings and helped prepare airstrips for the Allied forces.
He met his late wife in Germany during the war and brought her back to the UK.
Speaking beside a mural of Mr Trotter as a teenager on the wall of her bar, Mrs Cooper said: “We should never forget because they gave their all for us.
“There’s not many Tommy’s age left, I think we should respect that and remember what they did.”
The veteran, who holds the Legion D’Honneur, was delighted with the birthday cards which carpeted the floor of the bar before they were opened, and even had a celebratory dance.
Sitting beside Mrs Cooper, he said: “I’ve never had nowt like this before, it’s lovely.
“It’s always been lovely in here.”
Supporters of the national veteran support club the Tommy Club gave him a lifesize and specially-engraved soldier figure made by ex-servicemen working at the military charity Royal British Legion Industries’ factory.
He was also made an honorary member of the Tommy Club, which raises funds for military veterans and helps them into employment.