Happy 100th birthday Elijah!

Date published: 22 June 2020

Elijah Debnam turned 100 years old today (Monday) and he has enjoyed a surprise party thrown by the staff at his care company.

The team at Home Instead, based in Uppermill, rallied round to mark the milestone with a four-piece brass band and a regimental cake, made by one of the carers, Rachel.

Elijah served as a Royal Engineer during WW2 and is happy to reminisce about his time in Normandy and other parts of Europe.

He proudly displays the photo of himself and a comrade taken outside Chateau Val-Duchesse, Auderghem, Brussels in 1942.

Although Elijah is very proud of the photo and knew it was taken in Belgium, he couldn’t remember where exactly.

So in 2016 his caregiver, Kathryn, used the ornamental decorations above the front door to conduct an extensive online search and presented Elijah with her findings and a full photo of the building.

Home Instead have been supporting Elijah to remain independent in his home on Spring Street, Oldham, since 2015.

Elijah (left) pictured with a comrade in Belgium during WW2

Managing director Mick Sheehan said: “Elijah is a wonderful and happy gentleman who’s an absolute joy to spend time with and listen to.

"We couldn’t let his special day go by, even in these tricky social distancing times, without making an effort and showing him how much he’s loved and admired."

Elijah said: “I’ve got my card from the Queen, family up from Southampton and now a brass band.

"You’ve done me proud, thank you all very much."

Many thanks to the brass volunteers from Dobcross Youth Band who played classics from Vera Lynn and others before a rendition of 'Happy Birthday'.

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