Prisoner of war and veteran retires at grand age of 95

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Eddie Peak’s life has been a roller-coaster ride, but now the 95 year-old has finally decided to retire for a well-deserved rest.

Eddie, of Shepperson 
Avenue, Gosberton Risegate, has worked at Moulton Bulb Company as a production operative for 22 years, officially retiring last week.

Director of the company, Robert Oldershaw, said: “Eddie has been an extremely loyal employee for stopping with us for so long until now.

“He always worked with lots of enthusiasm and he really enjoyed the social aspect of his job.”

Last year he was still working two days a week at the company and said at the time: “I want to work because it’s two days of meeting people.”

Chief executive John Grimwood presented Eddie with a cheque and a bottle of champagne at a ceremony held at the Moulton firm.

John said how Eddie had worked for the company for many years and had seen many changes during that time. He thanked Eddie for his hard work and continued service.

Eddie’s back story is even more interesting. He survived years as a prisoner of war of the Japanese and then, once he was back in the UK, he learnt he had a hole in one lung.

He went through a series of operations and major surgery to insert 22 small plastic balls to prevent the chest wall from collapsing after surgeons removed two-thirds of his lung.

Eddie is a member of an elite group, the Java Far Eastern Prisoner of War Club, and was among the members who were invited to a tea party at Buckingham Palace in 2012.

During the Second World War, Eddie was a prisoner in the notorious Changi Camp in northern Singapore, then in camps in Thailand.

The Royal British Legion asked Eddie to write about his horrific experiences in their journal: a daily routine of brutality and of toiling to build a 260 mile-long railway as men around him succumbed to diseases like cholera in the overcrowded conditions.

He said: “It’s a funny feeling because you have been to places where you have seen bad things happen and you are still here to talk about it.”

The RBL also provided him with a wheelchair when he attended the 70th anniversary of Victory over Japan and the end of World War Two Parade last year.