War hero celebrates 107th birthday without his family due to coronavirus lockdown

Reg Lewis celebrated with a cake (Picture: SWNS)

A war veteran has been forced to celebrate his 107th birthday without his family due to coronavirus lockdown measures.

Reg Lewis was unable to mark the milestone on Tuesday with loved ones because of restrictions put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Instead, residents and staff at the Forder Lane House Care Home in Dartington, Devon, stepped in to throw him a party.

Lewis, who saw action in Singapore and India during the Second World War and only stopped working at the age of 93, celebrated with a birthday cake.

Read more: Cat owners urged to keep pets indoors to stop spread of coronavirus

Reg Lewis survived the Spanish flu epidemic. (SWNS)

Christine Candlish, chief executive of South Devon Rural Housing, which owns the home, said: “Everyone is fond of Reg and staff are delighted to see him tick off another year in his amazing catalogue of personal milestones.

Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice

Live: Follow all the latest updates from the UK and around the world

Fact-checker: The number of COVID-19 cases in your local area

6 charts and maps that explain how COVID-19 is spreading

"The current health emergency obviously puts a strain on the staff and residents of care homes – and especially their loved ones, who are unable to visit.

"Our priority is to protect our residents and keep them safe during this difficult time but the people around Reg will make sure that he has a good time as he celebrates his birthday among friends."

Reg Lewis celebrates his 107th birthday. (SWNS)

Lewis, who was born in Shropshire a year before the start of the First World War, lived through the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic and was 21 when Hitler came to power in Germany. He has lived under 21 prime ministers and four monarchs.

Lewis ran his own butcher’s business in the county until he was called up to serve in the Second World War with the Royal Devon Yeomanry artillery brigade in Singapore and India.

On his return to England he received a telephone call from the officer he served under in Singapore offering him the chance to manage a farm in Holne, a village on the edge of Dartmoor.

Read more: London 'nowhere near' easing lockdown as 14 transport workers die from coronavirus

Lewis managed the farm for 20 years until it was sold, at which point he returned to working as a butcher in the Torbay area – and finally retiring at the age of 93.

He became a resident at Forder Lane House in 2018 and staff says he enjoys taking part in daily activities including tai chi and also plays cards with family and other residents in his spare time.

Lewis has three children – daughters Gill, 75, Sylvia, 70, and son Mike, 72.

Mike said: "We are absolutely enamoured by the home and the care that Reg receives there. Dad is very happy at Forder Lane House and tells us that he’s very well looked after.”

Coronavirus: what happened today?

Click here to sign up to the latest news, advice and information with our daily Catch-up newsletter