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  • Liverpool Echo

Poppy seller Ron Jones who survived Auschwitz will celebrate his 100th birthday on April 30th

A Royal British Legion poppy collector who survived the Auschwitz concentration camp is celebrating his 100th birthday.

Ron Jones is marking his centenary on April 30.

Mr Jones, from Bassaleg, Newport, South Wales, has been collecting for the Royal British Legion poppy appeal for more than 30 years.

He was a prisoner of war in the Nazi death camp while serving in the 1st Battalion of the Welch Regiment during the Second World War.

He was captured in 1943 in the Middle East and, after nine months in Italy, was transferred to forced labour camp E715 - part of the Auschwitz complex.

Mr Jones has been a familiar face in Newport during the build-up to Remembrance Sunday, selling poppies at Tesco on the Harlech Retail Park.

Lynne Woodyatt, community fundraiser for The Royal British Legion, said: "Ron is one of our oldest poppy collectors and one that we hold in very high regard.

"The Royal British Legion is something very close to his heart and we wish him our sincere congratulations on his milestone birthday.

"His many friends at the Legion will be thinking of him at this time and hoping he has a wonderful day on Sunday celebrating with his family.

"He is a true hero and a gentleman."

Ant Metcalfe, the Royal British Legion's manager for Wales, said: "On behalf of everyone at the Royal British Legion, I would like to thank Ron for his invaluable contribution to the Poppy Appeal over the years.

"By sharing his incredible story of survival and resilience, Ron has touched so many people and left a lasting impression on many.

"His loyal and determined long service to the Poppy Appeal has given the public a compelling reason to donate to the charity and helped us to reach those people who may be in need of support in the future."

Mike Jones, Poppy Appeal organiser for Gwent, said: "Ron is a true ambassador, such a character and a real gentleman.

"Not only is he one of our oldest collectors but one of our most popular. Happy Birthday, Ron."

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