'We will come out of this' - Defiant coronavirus message from WWII veteran who turns 100

"If you are going to get to 100, you have got to be on the ball.”

A World War Two veteran living in Scotland will celebrate his 100th birthday on Wednesday – and has issued a defiant message in the face of coronavirus lockdown.

Jack Ransom - who is spending lockdown with his wife Maddie, 89, in their Largs home - said he had been looking forward to celebrating his big day with a massive birthday party.

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But due to the lockdown, he will instead spend the big day ‘under lock and key’, and has issued a spirit-lifting message.

Jack Ransom - who is spending lockdown with his wife Maddie, 89, in their Largs home - said he had been looking forward to celebrating his big day with a massive birthday party.

Former prisoner of war Jack, who was held captive by the Japanese and forced to work on the 'Death Railway' linking Thailand and Myanmar in the 1940s said: “"I survived in the 1940s and I'm determined to survive again.

"I was released from prison in 1945, when I was released I was only six stone.

"There's always light at the end of the tunnel, we will come out of this.

"I've done that and I'm determined to do it again.

"The NHS are marvellous.

"You have got to have friends and people to keep you going."

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Despite being frustrated at the lockdown, Jack, who has no children, said he was determined to see it out.

Sprightly Jack, who learnt to use a computer aged 90 - the same age he married his third wife - is keeping in touch with his friends through social media during the lockdown in North Ayrshire.

Born in Peckham, southeast London, on April 15 1920, Jack attributes the hardships of his early life to keeping him 'on the ball'.

But he ended up moving to Scotland after falling in love with his first wife, Helen, who he married in 1945, and they moved to Peebles, Scottish Borders - after exchanging just two postcards in four years when he was a prisoner of war.

The couple moved to Birmingham where Helen died aged just 57, and Jack met his second wife, Joyce, in nearby Solihull, West Mids, but was widowed in 2008.

He felt compelled to move back to Scotland, and ten years ago married his wife Maddie, who hails from Arygll.

Jack said: "You have got to keep your mind going all the time.

"If you are going to get to 100, you have got to be on the ball.

"If you are not going to be on the ball you won't get anywhere mate.

"There's not a lot that gets past a cockney. If you are a Del Boy, you are on the ball, you've got to be.

"When I was a boy if you didn't look after yourself, nobody else did."

Jack has found using the internet makes domestic life much easier.

He said: "My wife Maddie and I got married ten years ago, she was a widow, I was a widower.

"She does the shopping, we share the cooking.

"I keep quite fit really, I had a minor heart attack a few years ago and I take the usual tablets, cod liver oil.

"I keep in touch with everybody.

"The post has been arriving early and I have had a tremendous amount of cards, including one from the Queen.

"I have had a hectic life.

"I use a computer and I get in touch with the supermarkets and get stuff delivered online.

"I do that for my wife, it's the easiest way for her, but the slots have started to disappear.

"Maddie and I are both ancients, the difficulty is getting stuff in, but online is a boon to us.

"I go on the computer a lot, I'm in touch with the Largs Royal British Legion, they send me messages and I send them messages."

But he did not know what surprise his wife had in store for him on his big day.

Jack added: "We will get through this, but don't go round the bend."