Exeter’s Lord Mayor joined in the celebrations for the 100th birthday of a former city council employee.
Geoffrey Pyne celebrated his 100th birthday on December 28, with a party at Exminster Golf Club, surrounded by family and friends.
The Lord Mayor of Exeter, Councillor Peter Holland, presented Geoffrey with a card and gift on behalf of Exeter City Council, saying it was his ‘privilege and honour’ to mark the milestone birthday.
Geoffrey is thought to be the oldest surviving past member of staff of Exeter City Council and one of the few surviving soldiers who landed in France on D Day.
Born in Goldsmith Street, Heavitree, in 1919, Geoffrey left school at 14-years-old to take up a plumber and pipe fitter apprenticeship.
At the age of 18 he joined the Devon Yeomanry and later on, the Ordnance Corp and the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (R.E.M.E.) as part of the Anti-Tank Regiment – landing on Sword Beach on D Day in 1944.
In spite of being injured in Belgium, Geoffrey returned to active service and fought all the way to Bremen.
After the war Geoffrey returned to Exeter to work for his old employer – Down and Baker but later moved across to Exeter City Council where he was instrumental in re-instating the city’s water network following the Blitz and in the part of the city once known as Bedford Circus.
The Lord Mayor of Exeter, Councillor Peter Holland, said: “It was a privilege and honour to meet Geoffrey as he reached this amazing milestone in his life.
“As a country we have enjoyed seventy five years of unbridled peace in Western Europe and it is my view that the campaign Geoffrey took part in enabled just that.
“What Geoffrey and his colleagues did was phenomenal. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Geoffrey’s generation who gave us the freedoms that we enjoy today.”