AN ex-soldier from Alcester has been celebrating after reaching his 100th birthday.

Frederick Bradford, who is a resident at Meadow View Care Centre, turned 100 years old on Friday (April 2).

Celebrations started early in the day when the birthday boy was presented with his card from the Queen. He received presents and cards from loved ones, and later shared a birthday tea with residents.

Mr Bradford was born at Ludlow Road, Alum Rock, Birmingham, in 1921 and was one of six children.

He went to school at Saltley School from the age of five until 1935. Whilst he was there his passion was football and he played for the school team, gaining his biggest accolade by being a member of the team that were runners up in the Aston Villa Schools Cup of 1934.

When he left school, he went to work as a van boy and stores man for Colmore Depot, a leading motor factor and car spares company in Birmingham.

He later joined the Royal Signals Regiment and around the time of D Day was sent to North Africa attached to a Royal Artillery Regiment. Throughout World War Two he fought in Sicily and later in Italy.

In 1946 he returned to civilian life and met his future wife Barbara Mary Holloway on the Number 14 bus. They were married in 1949 at St Mary’s Church in Castle Bromwich. Their son Mark was born in 1956.

Mr Bradford eventually went back into the car spares industry working for the Yenton Garage, and during the early 1960’s worked for Baldwin’s Motor Factors until his retirement.

In 2006, after more than 50 years of marriage, Barbara sadly passed away.

His son Mark said: "My father, although an ex-soldier, has always been a peace loving man and this is true today as ever."

According to his son, Mr Bradford's personal byword for life is “you must have a laugh”.