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Second World War veteran records song for charity ahead of 100th birthday

99 year old World War Two veteran, Charlie Pallett, practices his singing at home in Maidstone, Kent, after recording a song to raise money for charity to mark his upcoming 100th birthday. Pic by Gareth Fuller

By Michael Drummond, PA

A 99-year-old Second World War veteran with a lifelong passion for singing has gone behind the mic to raise money for charity.

Charlie Pallett, who celebrates his 100th birthday next month, has recorded one of his favourite wartime songs, that still resonates today.

In a heart-warming video, the great-great-grandfather gives a rousing performance of Keep Right On To The End Of The Road.

Mr Pallett is registered blind and wears two hearing aids but this has not stopped him from smashing his target of raising £1,000 for Help for Heroes.

Speaking to the PA news agency, the veteran said he was inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore.

He told PA: “I said I would like to do that to raise money for the lads, the guys I was with in the war.

“And that’s why this started and I’m very pleased for what it has achieved.”

Mr Pallett had just got a job as a lorry driver when, on turning 18, he got a letter telling him he had been called up to Her Majesty’s Service.

During the war he served as a driver and later as a dispatch rider in the 53rd Welsh Division and 52nd Lowland Division.

His service took him to the north of Germany where he broke his ankle, before going out to Singapore.

It was while he was stationed in Maidstone, Kent, 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 she died in June 2019 at the age of 95.

Now nearly 100 years old, Mr Pallett has three daughters, five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter and lives in Shepway.

He added: “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.”

Carole Groves, national senior fundraising manager at Help for Heroes, said: “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.”

Mr Pallett’s fundraiser can be accessed here:

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