Bath's 'oldest' police officer celebrates 100th birthday in care home

A man who served Bath in the Avon Police for more than three decades has celebrated his 100th birthday.

The great-grandfather was surprised with cake and bubbly on Tuesday 16 January as the Winfield Lodge nursing home team marked the milestone.

His family say he has an amazing sense of humour and all the staff and ladies at the care home love him.

A true man of Bath, Don Stennard was born in Combe Down and went to Combe Down primary school.

He left school age 14 and was an engineer for seven years before in 1942 he was called to join the army. There he served in the Royal Engineers and was deployed to France and Holland.

Donald Stennard and his late with Dorothy Stennard were married for 75 years. Credit: Family photo

One year later he was allowed to return from the war to marry his childhood sweetheart Dorothy, before being transferred back into service.

In 1945 Don joined Bath city police as a constable number 26 and in 1960 he was promoted to sergeant in the Avon Police force.

Donald checking a breathalyser and standing a cardboard at Milsom street after a member of the public gave him to keep warm. Credit: Family photos

He retired from the police in 1976, but spent continued to work in the justice system for the next 10 years as a county court bailiff, then a court usher.

In his achievements in the city were recognised by the Mayor in the Citizen of the Year award 2006 for his outstanding contribution to the life of the city and being the true ambassador for the city of Bath.

Don Stennard (top right) served with the police for more than 30 years Credit: Family photo

His family says Don still enjoys reasonably good health, but has mobility problems - due he says to worn out knees.

The 100-year-old received many happy birthdays from well-wishers on social media recalling memories with the 'great Bathonian'.

The Mayor of Bath also commented saying in normal circumstances she would have liked to have shared a glass of bubbly with the former police sergeant.

Cllr Manda Rigby said: "In normal circumstances, if it had been wanted, I'd have gone to visit today, had a glass of bubbly and some cake and enjoyed a chat.

"Please pass on my very best wishes to the birthday boy, from The Right Worshipful Mayor of Bath."

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