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Retired war veteran celebrates 100th birthday with local squadron

Home news

A resident at a care home in Newmarket celebrated his 100th birthday with serving members of his original squadron.  

A very special birthday celebration took place at Care UK’s Kentford Manor care home, on Jeddah Way, when resident Sydney Grimes celebrated his 100th birthday with members of 617 squadron. 

Serving members of the regiment raised a glass to Sydney and enjoyed a slice of his birthday cake, before presenting him with signed artwork representing the RAF. 

Commenting on the visit, Sydney said: “I felt honoured the regiment took the time to come and wish me a happy 100th birthday – it definitely made my birthday extra special. I would say the secret to reaching 100 is never smoking and staying fit!”

To celebrate the milestone birthday, the home decorated the lounge with balloons and banners, and the home’s talented head chef baked a special birthday cake for everyone to enjoy. 

Sydney was born on 6th May 1922 in Great Wakering, Essex, where he lived until the age of 18, before joining the RAF as a wireless operator. During his time in the RAF, Sydney flew a total of 41 operations, before later serving in RAF Sturgate, where he assisted in the return of prisoners of war. 

After the war, Sydney followed his passion for numbers and become an accountant, before later becoming a Finance Director. A keen sportsman, Sydney played cricket for many years and often enjoys watching sports related programmes and discussing results with team members and friends at Kentford Manor. 

Lijo Varghese, General Manager at Kentford Manor, said: “We were delighted to welcome 617 squadron to Kentford Manor to celebrate Sydney’s birthday with his family and friends.  

“It was fantastic to see Sydney enjoying this incredible milestone with members from the squadron, alongside his family and friends. It was lovely to hear Sydney share some very inspiring memories from his time serving in the RAF and to listen to his advice on how to become a centenarian. The day was filled with music, cake and lots of laughter – the perfect way to celebrate being 100 years young!”

Designed to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence, Kentford Manor incorporates space for hobby and leisure activities. The building has been configured to help facilitate the creation of close-knit communities and encourage social interaction among the residents.

To find out more about Kentford Manor, please call Christine Ellesley, Home Admissions Advisor on 01638 779594, email or visit

Open to new residents

Jeddah Way, Kennett, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 8JY

Kentford Manor

CQC Rating: Good
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Day club

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