Long Itchington World War Two hero turns 100

Frank Ward has turned 100. He has lived in Long Itchington and Southam all his life. NNL-190313-094542009
Frank Ward has turned 100. He has lived in Long Itchington and Southam all his life. NNL-190313-094542009

Lifelong Long Itchington and Southam resident and former sports team captain Frank Ward has celebrated his 100th birthday.

Frank, who now lives at Greenways Care Home in Marton Road, Long Itchington, was born in Model Village on March 5 1919.

He was a pupil at the nearby primary school before working as a painter and decorator.

He joined the army in October 1939 and served with the 1st Battalion of the Northamptonshire Regiment as part of the Burma campaign.

The medals he was awarded include the Burma Star, The 1939-45 Star, the Defence Medal and the War Medal 1939-45.

His father, also called Frank, had served in the First World War and had met his mother at the Grange Convalescent Hospital in Southam while he was being treated for wounds he had sustained during the conflict.

After Burma, Frank started working at what was Portland Cement, which is now Cemex.

He made a name for himself around the village as an exceptional sportsman, captaining the football team and also playing cricket and hockey.

It was while playing the latter that he suffered a nasty injury, having many of his front teeth knocked out by a ball.

In his retirement, Frank also enjoyed gardening.

Frank was married to his late wife Doreen (nee Case) for more than 50 years and the couple had their wedding and, later, their golden wedding anniversary on Christmas Day.

The couple have two sons - Frank and Julian - seven grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.