AN inspirational and decorated Second World War veteran from Colchester has said he "can’t believe how many cards" he received on his 100th birthday.

Douglas Felgate, a resident at Colonia Court Bupa Care Home, in St Andrew's Ave, celebrated a century of life last week.

To mark the milestone a special tea party was held at the home which included musical entertainment from performer Pete George as well as the company of his fellow residents.

In the lead-up to his birthday, the care home staff organised a card call-out, leading Doug to receive more than 100 birthday greetings from the community.

Doug said: "I had a lovely time celebrating my 100th birthday.

"I can’t believe how many cards I received, including one from the King and Queen Camilla – it has all been very special."

Gazette: Doug with his card from the King and QueenDoug with his card from the King and Queen (Image: Colonia Court Care Home)

Born and raised in Colchester, Doug attended The Colchester Royal Grammar School before working as a junior clerk at the Youth Employment Bureau at age 16.

At 18, he joined the RAF as a radio mechanic during the Second World War.

After the war, Doug resumed his position as a junior clerk in the health department and eventually joined the then newly-founded NHS.

He only received his Second World War medals in 2023, courtesy of the home's activities coordinator, Dawn.

On his 99th birthday, he was presented with the 1939-1945 Star Medal, Italy Star Medal, and Second World War Victory Medal by RAF members.

Gazette: Doug celebrating with family, friends, and staffDoug celebrating with family, friends, and staff (Image: Colonia Court Care Home)

Jiji George, home manager, said: "We are honoured to have been a part of Doug’s 100th birthday celebrations.

"We always enjoy celebrating our residents’ milestone birthdays with them and do all we can to help our residents live longer, healthier, and happier lives.

"Doug is a joy to be around and an inspiration to us all."

Colonia Court Bupa Care Home provides nursing or residential care, including services for those living with dementia, Huntington’s or Parkinson’s.

Bupa Care Services received the prestigious Care Provider of the Year award at the Leaders in Care Awards in 2022.

The accolade recognised Bupa's use of digital tools, care planning, staff welfare, and outstanding overall level of care.

Operating across the UK with over 120 care homes and ten retirement villages, Bupa's goal is "helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives and making a better world."