SECOND World War veteran Don Sheppard, 99, says he’s coping with the lockdown by taking regular strolls around his garden.

Don, who was a young sapper in the Royal Engineers when he landed in Normandy on June 6, 1944 and is chairman of the Southend Normandy Veterans’ Association, is staying indoors with his wife, Sandra, amid the pandemic.

He said: “Our family have been dropping off food for us and we are doing well.

“We are just indoors. I know it’s a bit boring for everyone but all these gadgets we have today make it a lot easier.

“I’ve just been out in the back garden for a little walk as it’s important to get some exercise.”

Don will celebrate his 100th birthday in May.

“I hope to make it to 100,” he said. “It’ a shame about the VE and VJ Day memorial events that probably won’t go on now.

“Hopefully they might be held later in the year but what can you do?”

Don, who has three children, six grandchildren and four great grandchildren, helped to liberate the notorious Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. He was wounded on D Day as he took cover in a ditch as German bombs fell. He still has a sliver of enemy shrapnel wedged in his lung today.

“When you are fighting something like this virus you have to just do what you can by staying at home,” he said.