Hospital helps Heanor man celebrate 105th birthday

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A Heanor man born in the week the Titanic sank is enjoying the celebrations after reaching his 105th birthday.

Dick Tetlow was born on April 20, 1912, and until well over his 100th birthday he lived independently and did his own shopping and cooking.

Now a regular visitor at the day unit of Belper’s Babington Hospital, staff there decided to host a party in his honour as Dick holds the record as the oldest person ever treated there.

Dick said his recipe for a long, healthy life was: “I’m a very positive person. I tell people: you walk tall, you keep smiling and you eat what’s put in front of you.”

Dick is the last of eight children, having outlived his seven brothers and sisters, although two of them lived to 100 and 99, and now lives with his son.

He said his earliest memory is of Zeppelins in the sky during the First World War and “seeing the lads and men going off to fight. I remember running behind them as they marched up the street.”

He left school at 14 and his first job was taking a horse and cart to Ripley market.

He served in the Second World War as a dispatch rider in North Africa and Italy with the Royal Army Service Corps.

Later he moved on to work on driving buses and trolley buses in Nottingham. Dick retired aged 63 in 1975.

Dick is currently part of the hospital’s falls rehabilitation group, receiving specialist physiotherapy and recovery care.

Support worker Joy Wood said: “He’s very uplifting with the other patients and a real inspiration to us all.

“His care with us shows that age itself is no barrier to successful outcomes and that our service is helping to keep some increasingly elderly patients at their maximum mobility and independence.”