Veterans

WW2 Veteran Records Fundraising Song For 100th Birthday

Charity crooner Charlie Pallett has turned 100 years old and has raised thousands for Help For Heroes.

World War Two veteran Charlie Pallett is celebrating his 100th birthday and, inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore, has marked the occasion by raising money for Help for Heroes.

The centenarian has recorded one of his favourite wartime songs, 'Keep Right On to the End of the Road', and is asking people to listen and donate.

As a tribute to the veteran, Help for Heroes arranged for a birthday message to be displayed on a large advertising screen in London's Leicester Square to be played once every minute for 24 hours on Tuesday.

It said: "WW2 hero Charlie Pallett turns 100 today, but he doesn't want presents."

Then quoting Mr Pallett in his own words, it said: "Instead of presents, please donate to Help for Heroes because as a veteran, it's a very special charity to me."

The message was flanked by a photo of him as a young man as well as another image of him holding his birthday card from the Queen.

Smashing his initial target of £1,000 in the first 24 hours, he hopes to continue to raise money for wounded soldiers and their families, with the amount raised so far now standing at more than £27,000 and rising.

Charlie is the father of three daughters, has five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter, is registered blind and wears two hearing aids.

The veteran lives in Shepway, Kent, and was drafted into the British Army on his 18th birthday in 1939, where he rose to the rank of corporal, driving around ammunition and supplies.

He was also a motorcycle dispatch rider, before being discharged at the end of the war in 1946.

Charlie recorded the song to help publicise his fundraising efforts (Picture: HelpforHeroes).

It was while he was stationed in Maidstone that he met his wife-to-be, Madge, and they married in 1943.

They were husband and wife for 76 years, living most of their married life in Maidstone before Madge passed away in June 2019 at the age of 95.

After leaving the Army he worked as a labourer, bus driver, postman and ended up as a guillotine operator at a local printer's.

Explaining why he has chosen to sing and ask for charity donations for his 100th birthday, Charlie said it would be the best birthday present he could want.

"I want to raise money for wounded soldiers and their families.

"It's important that they shouldn't be forgotten so if I can do my bit to raise awareness and get people to donate a few pounds by singing my song, then I can't think of a better birthday present."

The veteran's fundraising page has generated more than £28,000, with the original target having been set at £1,000.

Carole Groves, National Senior Fundraising Manager at Help for Heroes, praised his generous efforts.

"For Charlie to ask for donations to help other war heroes instead of receiving cards and presents for his 100th birthday is so incredibly generous – and also timely as the past 12 months have been tougher than ever for veterans living with a life-changing injury or illness.

"We can't stop watching his wonderful video which warms the cockles of our hearts.

"By supporting veterans and their families Charlie is helping us give them the strength they need to live the lives they deserve."