Residents and staff at Eccleshare Court Care and Nursing Home in Lincoln celebrated the 100th birthday of Dunkirk veteran Ronald Short in style this week. Ron enjoyed a birthday cake and sing-a-long as he celebrated with the staff and residents he calls friends. Ron was especially pleased with his birthday card from Her Majesty the Queen and fabulous golfing themed birthday cake baked by Eccleshare Court Chef Noel Claveria.
“Ron is such a wonderful character, we love hearing his amazing stories about his life and his family,” said Home Manager, Susannah Barker-Milan “It is a real pleasure to wish him a very Happy 100th Birthday from all of the Eccleshare Court family”.
Ron was born in Great Ponton, near Grantham, on 24th September 1920 to Mable and George and was the third of six children. He has many nieces, nephews and godchildren and Ron is proud to be everyone’s favourite uncle. As a child, Ron would walk two miles to school every day and on leaving school was taken on as an Apprentice at Ruston & Hornsby engineers in Grantham, a major producer of diesel locomotives and other diesel engines. Ron was a keen footballer and in his free time he would play football for the village team, Ruston & Hornsby and was even on the books at Grantham Town Football Club.
Ron joined the Territorial Army and when the Second World War broke out, he was sent to join The Lincolnshire Engineers Regiment. Ron considers himself to be one of the lucky survivors, rescued in the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation. Speaking about his experiences to Activities and Wellbeing Coordinator Cheryl Emmins at Eccleshare Court he said, “We travelled hours, being shot at on the way to the beach. I stood in the water with my gun above my head for hours awaiting rescue”. Unfortunately, the rescue was not successful, he was being shot at and was ordered to get back on the beach and dig in. Wet and cold, it was another 24 hours before he could try again. This time he was successfully rescued and collapsed exhausted, unable to remember a thing of the boat trip back to England which took place on the final night that boats went to Dunkirk on their rescue missions.
Following the war, he went back to his old job and met and married his wife Marion in 1948, happily welcoming son David in 1950. Sadly, when David was just nine, Marion passed away after an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer. In 1960, Ron and some work colleagues were introduced to golf, this changed his life and he played well into his nineties. His lowest handicap was 10 and says that the highlights of his golfing career were a victory at the Open in Woodhall Spa and Ruston & Hornsby Annual 36 hole Open. Perhaps one of his finest achievements, 11 days before Ron’s 90th birthday he got an amazing hole in one, the photo of which has pride of place in his room at Eccleshare Court Care & Nursing Home.
Ron is the proud grandfather of Ben and Katie and Great Grandfather to Molly, Sonny, Olivia and Elijah. Ron passed his love of golf to his son David who is now a professional golfer. In 1969 Ron found love again with second wife Lorna. He lived in Cherry Willingham, still playing golf and keeping his garden immaculate well into his nineties until he moved to Eccleshare Court in 2018 where he has continued to enjoy his love of gardening and keeps staff and residents entertained with his fascinating stories.