Warwickshire D-Day veteran celebrates 100th birthday

Ron Trenchard with his card from The Queen
Ron Trenchard with his card from The Queen

A Warwickshire veteran who fought during D-Day recently celebrated his 100th birthday on the eve of this year’s Poppy Appeal.

Former Royal Engineer Ron Trenchard turned 100 on Sunday October 26, and marked the occasion with his family at Galanos House in Southam, a care home owned by the Royal British Legion.

Ron and Elsie Trenchard

Ron and Elsie Trenchard

Born in Highbury, North London in 1917, Ron moved to Warwickshire with his family in 1937 and soon enlisted in The Royal Engineers at the age of 22 when war broke out.

The son of an Army Clerk, Ron was part of the British Expeditionary Force and served in various Docks Operating Companies taking supplies off ships.

At the time of Dunkirk he was actually in Le Havre in Normandy, some 140 miles the southwest. The ships left the area without the men and Ron was posted as missing for three weeks.

During that time Ron was able to make his way to Brest in Brittany and hitched passage on a ship sailing back to England.

Elsie and Ron Trenchard

Elsie and Ron Trenchard

After his great escape from France, Ron was posted to Egypt where he stayed until 1943, working on the Suez Canal.

Unfortunately, during this time, Ron’s father died from complications with appendicitis.

Ron was allowed home on leave because of this. In a happier turn which is when he also married his late wife, Elsie May Rodenhurst.

When he returned to service, Ron found himself training for the D-Day landings in 1944 and was part of the force that invaded France on Gold Beach.

He survived the landing and spent six months at Arromanches, taking supplies off the Mulberry artificial harbours.

He then served in the Port of Antwerp and finally in Lubeck in Germany after which he was discharged.

Today, Ron is a resident of the Legion’s Galanos House care home, which like every one of its six care homes, are exclusive to ex-Service people and their dependents.

Ron’s three children Michael, Diane and Richard, four grandchildren, and three great grandchildren, along with friends and staff at the care home celebrated with a party and an afternoon tea.

Mike Trenchard, Ron’s son, said: “We are all so proud of Dad and his achievements.

“He has been thrilled to be made such a fuss of and we as a family are very touched by the effort by staff at Galanos who are absolutely fantastic in providing my Dad with day-to-day care and assistance.”

Ron has also received a telegram from the Queen congratulating him on his 100th birthday, which will go alongside his 60th anniversary telegram that Ron and Elsie received back in 2003.