‘Indestructible’ former soldier who has lived in Northampton for 50 years celebrates 100th birthday

Donald spent more than three decades selflessly looking after his disabled wife at the same time as bringing up their four sons

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 8:17 am

A former soldier who has lived in Northampton for 50 years is celebrating his milestone 100th birthday.

Donald Welch, was born in London on March 31, 1921 and signed up to join the army when he was just 19-years-old.

The now 100-year-old was originally posted to Scotland, where he met Isa - the woman he would marry shortly after, before he spent four years in Burma serving during the Second World War.

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Donald Welch turns 100 today (March 31).

Following his demobilisation, Donald became a bricklayer, which is what brought his family from Scotland to Bletchley and finally to Northampton in the early 1970s.

During their 54-year marriage, Donald dedicated decades to caring for his wife, who was disabled, before she died in 1995, as well as bringing up their four sons.

Donald is still able to live independently, including cooking for himself, at his home and prior to the pandemic, he would regularly go on days out with his family, including his four children, nine grand-children, twelve great grandchildren and one great, great grandson.

Charles Welch, Donald’s youngest son, said: “Dad is just marvelous and his dedication and love for our mum when she was alive is the thing we always look up to.

Donald joined the army when he was 19.

“My mum became disabled when I was very little so dad had to bring up the boys and look after mum.

“He did everything for her and he gave up any life for himself to look after her and bring us up.

“He is the greatest man to have ever lived, as far as we are concerned anyway.”

According to Charles, Donald’s life advice has always been ‘everything in moderation’, which has worked well for him as he is still healthy at the age of 100.

Donald was born in London, but has lived in Northampton for 50 years.

Charles added: “Dad is indestructible. His list of ailments and broken bones is long, but they never keep him down.

“He also always said to us ‘everything in moderation’ and he wouldn’t mind a glass of whiskey now and again to keep his spirits up.

“Dad has a great constitution and we are all hoping to pick the genes up.

“His great passion these days is to watch all sports on TV.

“He doesn’t get out much due to the pandemic, but before Covid we used to take him here, there and everywhere.

“That has been difficult as we don’t know how long we have got him for. We just want to be with him and get him out and about.”

Donald will mark his milestone birthday with socially distanced family visits and his favorite dinner of steak and ale pie.

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