101-year-old WWII Vet Receives 700 Birthday Cards and Counting, Expecting Hundreds More

By SWNS
SWNS
SWNS
August 21, 2021 Updated: August 21, 2021

A widower is set to receive more than 1,000 cards for his 101st birthday after kindhearted care home staff appealed to generous strangers to make his day special.

RAF veteran Jack Annall in the UK was not able to get a visit from his daughter Mary for his big day on Aug. 19, as she lives in Australia and cannot travel due to the pandemic.

To avoid him feeling lonely, care home manager Vicky Gudgin, 32, appealed for cards to be sent to Jack at the home in Halifax, West Yorks.

Vicky wanted to cheer him up after she noticed he appeared down and appealed on social media for birthday cards to be sent in.

Epoch Times Photo
Jack Annall. (SWNS)

And she was stunned with the response as more than 700 have already arrived at the care home—with hundreds more expected from well-wishers touched by his story.

“He doesn’t have much family as his daughter lives abroad,” Vicky said.

“I knew he was feeling a little bit down about not being able to see his daughter and I thought, what can we do to lift his spirits?

“I thought, let’s get the community involved, and the extent it has is incredible.”

She initially asked other care homes in the area to send cards, but when the appeal was shared on social media, hundreds arrived from around the world.

The veteran, who served in the RAF, was treated to a visit from the air force, the local mayor, and a brass band concert on his birthday.

Epoch Times Photo
Jack Annall when he was in the RAF. (SWNS)

Days before Jack’s birthday, Vicky said: “Jack is a wonderful person and we really want to make the day special for him.

“Knowing Jack, he wouldn’t want a big party, I just thought it would be nice to get a few cards for him.

“Initially, I wanted to get 101 cards, but we’ve had 700 delivered already.

“We’ve got 200 on the way from ex-servicemen and another 100 from a local group. We’re well on course to get more than 1,000.”

Staff set aside a lounge room in the home to accommodate all the cards and gifts.

Vicky added, “We’ve had businesses and people offering to send presents and arrange entertainment. We’ve had singers offer to come and perform.

“But Jack likes to be low-key so we’ve tried to keep it that way as best we can.

“He’ll have a visit from an RAF representative, the mayor is coming to see him and we have a brass band playing for him because he loves brass bands.

“We’re keeping the cards a surprise for him though.”

Epoch Times Photo
Jack Annall (L) with his late wife, May, and daughter, Mary. (SWNS)

Jack was born in Carlisle, Cumbria, but moved to Bradford, West Yorks., where he lived with his late wife, May.

He served as a joiner in the RAF for more than four years during the Second World War as part of Number 617 Squadron and worked on Mosquito planes.

Their daughter, Mary, now lives in Sydney and has not been back to the UK for more than three years, in part due to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.

He has video calls with his daughter twice a week and his niece also visits once a week, but he has no grandchildren.

Jack, who has resided in the Sandholme Fold care home since 2016, said good food was the secret to living so long.

Staff say he enjoys painting, classical music, brass bands, and speaking with his family.

Mary, who planned to give her dad a special call on his birthday, said, “Dad is an amazing man who has always supported those close to him.”

Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.

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SWNS
SWNS