War veteran celebrates his 100th birthday

War veteran celebrates his 100th birthday

War veteran celebrates his 100th birthday

First published in North Essex

A FORMER signalman whose war stories include being captured and interrogated before escaping with a broken arm has celebrated his 100th birthday.

Thomas Russell from Dovercourt, known as Russ, joined the army in 1934 aged 20 and was serving in Palestine when the Second World War was declared.

Pam Morrison, his daughter, said: "He was in the army for 30 years and has a lot of tales to tell.

"He told us how he was caputured and interrogated and they broke his arm in three places with a rifle butt - they escaped across the dessert."

Thomas met his wife, Gwen, who was serving in the Women's Royal Naval Service, also known as the Wrens, one month before leaving for D-Day.

They went on to have three children - a boy and two girls who were both born in Germany.

Mr Russell, who retired from the army in 1965 ranked as a sgt maj, now has four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Friends and family gathered around on Sunday at the Towers Hotel in Dovercourt to celebrate his milestone birthday with an afternoon tea party.

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