Weedon’s Sandy Pell was given an unforgettable send-off by his friends 35 years ago in the week before he joined the Chelsea Pensioners.
Well-wishers joined Sandy at his local, the Globe Hotel, for a special party attended by 120 people.
The 71-year-old took up his residence at Chelsea’s Royal Hospital the following Monday after successfully applying to join the Pensioners.
During his 21 years with the First Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment, Sandy saw active duty in the Second World War.
Mayor of Daventry Mavis Mathews presented Sandy with a well wishing card and a Scottish and Newcastle brewery area representative presented him with an engraved pewter tankard, a glass pint pot and an ashtray.
The Globe’s regulars also bought Sandy gifts, a stereo cassette radio and an illuminated carriage clock.
The hotel’s owner, Anne Elgey, said the Globe would not be the same without Sandy, while many others were sad to see the veteran go but appreciated that joining the Pensioners was something Sandy had always wanted to do.
The celebrations were attended by a special guest, retired Northamptonshire Regiment Major Arthur Miller.