Doncaster man beats Covid-19 and turns 100 years old

After battling the coronavirus Roland Kemp celebrated turning 100 by having a socially distant party with his family.

By Laura Andrew
Thursday, 20th August 2020, 10:15 am

Mr Kemp, from Town Moor, celebrated his 100th birthday on August 11.

The celebration was extra special because Roland had recently recovered from Covid-19.

His granddaughter, Lucy Boothroyd, aged 31, said: “We were all terrified when he caught it.

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Roland holding his birthday message from the Queen.

“He was in the hospital for a broken arm when he caught the virus.

“But we were lucky he had a mild case and is doing great now.”

Lucy, and other family members who do not live in Doncaster, came to visit Roland for his big day and put on a celebration to mark the occasion.

Rolands family threw him a 100th birthday party on August 11.

“He’s always been such a social man, the life and soul of the party,” Lucy continued.

“He thoroughly enjoys being around people and he loved having a socially distanced birthday party with us all there.”

The party was held at the Hilton Hotel and Roland received a special birthday message from the Queen.

A photo of Roland when he was in the RAF during World War Two.

His father got a job at Armthorpe Pit and so the whole family made the move up north.

Roland is brother to two sisters, Edna and Ida, and one brother Haydn.

Lucy said: “When he left school he got a job at the shop Jacksons in Doncaster town centre.

“That shop sold shoes and hats.

“He then went on to work on the Doncaster buses.

“My grandfather joined the RAF at the beginning of World War Two.”

Roland's basic training was at RAF Wilmslow and afterward came a posting to Plymouth. He was then sent overseas travelling to South Africa then up the Suez Canal to North Africa Egypt and the desert.

While in Naples he witnessed the last major eruption of the Volcano Vesuvius in 1944.

He later worked for ICI and Cementation.

Lucy said: “He met his wife Floris on Valentine's Day 1949.

“They had two children named Roger and Judith and four grandchildren.”

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