Published: 17:27, 06 April 2021
| Updated: 18:12, 06 April 2021
A Second World War veteran from Shepway in Maidstone who turned 100 today said he has had the best birthday ever after raising more than £28,000 for his favourite charity, Help For Heroes.
Charlie Pallett announced some weeks ago that he didn't want any presents on his big day. Instead he recorded a version of his favourite wartime song, Keep Right On Till The End Of The Road, and posted it on YouTube, inviting anyone who liked it to make a donation to the charity that supports ex-servicemen like himself.
Charlie's version of the song with the Help for Heros choir
Mr Pallett admits to shedding a slight tear today, when told how much he had raised.
Despite his no-gift request, he did receive one present however - the Help for Heroes choir has now recorded a video of their singing along to his original solo rendition of Keep Right On.
Mr Pallett, a great-great-grandfather, held a small celebration at home today with family members where he proudly showed off his birthday card from The Queen.
He was drafted into the Army at the start of the Second World War in 1939, when he was 18.
He served with 53rd Welsh Division and 52nd Lowland Division and after training in Ireland and Scotland, he saw service in Malaya, India, Singapore, Belgium, Holland and Germany.
It was while he was briefly stationed in Maidstone that he met his wife-to-be, Madge. They married in 1943.
He was discharged in 1946.
Mr Pallett said he had been inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore’s fundraising campaign for the NHS, but wanted to raise money for a cause close to his own heart.
The centenarian said: "I chose this song as I’m also getting to the end of my own road.
“I wanted to raise money for all the wounded soldiers in the wars.
"But I've been humbled and delighted by the generosity of so many strangers.”
If you would like to help, you can donate here.