Our photo shows Reg Lewis celebrating his 107th birthday at Forder Lane House in Dartington.


A man who saw action in Singapore and India during the Second World War is still going strong at the age of 107 and celebrated his latest birthday on Tuesday (7 April).

Reaching and passing milestones in life is a bit of a habit for Reg Lewis, who now lives at the Forder Lane Care Home in Dartington, where he enjoys gentle exercise and leisure time with family.

Reg worked until he was 93 and in his lifetime has seen all manner of historic events, including:

  • being born a year before the start of World War One
  • living through the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic
  • reaching 21 as Hitler came to power in Germany
  • living under 21 UK Prime Ministers…
  • and four British monarchs!

Unfortunately, due to the current social distancing rules, his relatives were unable to be with him this week as he celebrated his 107th birthday with residents and staff at the Forder Lane House Care Home, managed by South Devon Rural Housing Association (SDR).

Born in Shropshire in 1913, Reg went on to run his own butcher’s business in the county until he was called up to serve in WW2 with the Royal Devon Yeomanry artillery brigade out in Singapore and India.

He survived the war and on his return to England received a telephone call from the officer he served under in Singapore, offering him the chance to manage the local farm in Holne, a village on the edge of Dartmoor.

Second photo shows Devon Yeomanry in action during WW2.



Reg managed the farm for 20 years until it was sold, at which point he returned to working as a butcher in the Torbay area – not retiring until the ripe old age of 93.

He became a resident at Forder Lane House in 2018. He enjoys taking part in daily activities including Tai Chi and also plays cards with family and other residents in his spare time.

Reg has three children – daughters Gill, aged 75, and Sylvia, aged 70, plus son Mike.

Mike – a sprightly 72-year-old – says: “We are absolutely enamoured by the home and the care that Reg receives there. Dad is very happy at Forder Lane House and tells us that he’s very well looked after”.

Christine Candlish, Chief Executive of SDR, said of her organisation’s oldest resident: “Everyone is fond of Reg and we’re delighted to see him tick off another year in his amazing catalogue of personal milestones.

“The current health emergency obviously puts a strain on the staff and residents of care homes – and especially their loved-ones, who are unable to visit. Our priority is to protect our residents and keep them safe during this difficult time but the people around Reg will make sure that he has a good time as he celebrates his birthday among friends”.



Editor’s Notes

  • SDR was founded in 1958 with the aim of providing social housing for local people
  • SDR provides and supports a number of housing and care services across S. Devon


Issued by Christine Candlish, CEO, South Devon Rural Housing Association Limited.

For further information, please email: Christine@southdevonrural.com

Or telephone: 01803 863550