Surprise 101st birthday celebrations for retired Royal Marine

One of Deal’s oldest residents, Maurice Churchward, celebrated his 101st birthday on 25 March 2021. His 100th birthday celebrations last year had to be put on hold due to Covid-19 and he was forced to celebrate his landmark birthday alone. Determined that Maurice’s 101st birthday would be celebrated in style this year, his family approached me to ask if I could help.

Learning that Maurice is a retired Royal Marine and active Member of the Royal Marines Association, my team and I approached Conservative Dover District Councillor and Armed Forces Champion, Oliver Richardson, for assistance in creating a very special day for Maurice. The resulting celebration was a complete surprise for Maurice; watching from his balcony, he enjoyed a visit from a former Royal Marine trumpeter playing Happy Birthday and a former Black Watch guardsman playing the bagpipes. Friends from the Royal Marines Association and St Saviour’s Church delivered presents and cards before a birthday cake and card were delivered by Dover District Council.

I was honoured to deliver a personal letter to Maurice and also spoke to him to wish him a Happy Birthday. And I was pleased to be able to speak to Maurice to share my congratulations and best wishes on his 101st Birthday.

Maurice served his country as a Royal Marine in World War 2 and afterwards as a Metropolitan Policeman. It was only fitting that his special birthday be honoured.

I would like to thank Dover District Council, the Royal Marines Association and Walmer Parish Churches for helping to arrange such a splendid celebration for Maurice’s special day.

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