105-Year-Old Veteran Has No More Surviving Relatives – Is Completely Surprised When He Receives 3,000 Cards
Veteran who has no living relatives amazed with the love he received on his milestone birthday.
A World War II veteran celebrated his 105th birthday with more than 3,000 cards from kind-hearted strangers.
Kind Strangers Make Birthday Special for Senior
Ernest Horsfall, who has no surviving relatives, said he was “surprised and amazed” at how many people wrote to him.
Horsfall was showered with over 3,000 cards from generous well-wishers after the Royal British Legion called for the brave ex-servicemen to be honored for his landmark birthday.
“I say thank you to you all,” he said from the care home in Preston, Lancashire, where he lives. “I’m utterly surprised and amazed at the number of greeting cards that came my way.”
Horsfall, who has seen 27 Prime Ministers and five British monarchs in his lifetime and has met several prime ministers since leaving the armed forces, even received a card from current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak congratulating him on his 105th birthday.
After opening all his cards, he said he was looking forward to spending time with his girlfriend Margaret, 63, who flew in from Iceland to be with him on his birthday.
A Life Full of Adventures
The ex-staff sergeant served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers from 1940 to 1946, before settling in Preston, where he worked for Vauxhall Motors.
Horsfall started flying lessons at 43 and was a private pilot until the age of 93, when he couldn’t get insured. He maintained aircraft until he was 101.
Horsfall was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, in 1918, three weeks after the Royal Air Force was formed. He was married for 57 years and had a son and a sister, but they have now passed away.
He served in London during the Blitz before joining the Allied campaign in North Africa, then went to Italy to maintain Allied tanks, directing 23 Italian civilian mechanics.
He says he still remembers vividly serving with the Army Ordnance Corps in London in 1940 and feels lucky to have survived.
“There would be swarms of Nazi bombers flying overhead all night and I knew many people that were injured or worse,” he said. “On one occasion, our guard room was hit and six of my pals were killed, I was just lucky it wasn’t my duty that night.”
Rachel Venables, the membership engagement manager for the Royal British Legion who launched the card appeal, said the sacrifices of servicemen like Ernest would “never be forgotten.”
“The Second World War generation is inevitably diminishing, but occasions like this are an opportunity for the RBL to remind everyone that their service and sacrifice means something and will never be forgotten,” she said.
The 105-year-old has some great advice to share.
“The secret to a long life is to keep living as happy as you can and keep a straight mind,” he said.