Veteran gets ‘terrific’ bash for birthday

D-Day veteran Eddie Wallace enjoyed a surprise 90th birthday party at the D Day Museum in Southsea, organised by friends and family'' 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (133222-1)
D-Day veteran Eddie Wallace enjoyed a surprise 90th birthday party at the D Day Museum in Southsea, organised by friends and family'' 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (133222-1)

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FRIENDS and family surprised a Normandy veteran with a 90th birthday party at the D-Day Museum.

Eddie Wallace, of Moorings Way, was stunned to find old friends, colleagues and relatives from across the country waiting for him at the party on Saturday.

The former chairman of the Normandy Veterans Association had requested a quiet drink in the pub to celebrate.

He said: ‘It was a terrific surprise, to say the least. They certainly kept me in the dark.’

Eddie is a volunteer at the museum where you can find him in the school holidays.

He teaches the younger visitors about the Second World War and answers the many questions they have about the time.

He was recently honoured for his hard work and commitment, with six other veterans, with an award from Portsmouth City Council.

He said, ‘Very often I end up swapping stories with the children’s grandparents.

‘It’s a lovely place to work because you meet so many people.’

Eddie puts his youthfulness down to all the sport he did as a young man.

‘I don’t feel 90,’ said Eddie, pictured right in his uniform.

‘Good gracious, no. I feel 21. If only I could do the things I could then! I swam, played football, I used to row. As far as I’m concerned that is the secret to keeping young.’

Before he joined the Royal Artillery he was a police-fireman and after the war he joined the police force, rising to sergeant at Portsmouth Centre station.

Eddie was joined by his daughter Penny Tilley and his son Mike and their families at the party.

The youngest member of the family is seven months old.

Penny said: ‘Dad is such a warm, affectionate, loving man.

‘Nothing fazes him. He takes everything in his stride.’

Mike, from Hastings, said: ‘He was overwhelmed when he realised he was coming here but we thought it was the perfect venue.’