Fife veteran Jimmy Sinclair celebrates 106th birthday

Jimmy Sinclair with David Torrance, Carol Lindsay, Rod Kavanagh, the Lord Lieutenant, and his carer Archie.
Jimmy Sinclair with David Torrance, Carol Lindsay, Rod Kavanagh, the Lord Lieutenant, and his carer Archie.

One of Fife’s best-known veterans was celebrating this week after turning 106 on Saturday.

Kirkcaldy’s Jimmy Sinclair, who is Britain’s oldest surviving Desert Rat, has been overwhelmed by the best wishes from friends, family, and a few famous faces.

Jimmy received a handwritten letter from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, along with a card from the Queen.

Kirkcaldy MSP David Torrance, councillor Carol Lindsay, and Fife’s veterans champion Rod Kavanagh visited Jimmy, along with the Depute Lord Lieutenant.

An impressive number of cards, letters, and photos from well-wishers only hints at the number of friends Jimmy has made over the years.

Among them is none other than Camilla Parker-Bowles, who regularly writes to Jimmy as he served with her father during the war.

And this despite an exchange Jimmy once had with Prince Charles at the Holyrood Garden Party.

Jimmy said: “I told him ‘your mum should actually be Elizabeth the first in Scotland, not the second.’ Charles just said ‘I know’.”

Jimmy is still as sharp as ever, writing letters and poetry regularly. He adds: “The brain’s not too bad.”

Jimmy’s secret to a long life is simple; clean living.

He said: “I’ve never smoked. I smoked once at school, and I got sick, and I’ve never looked back.”

He added: “I’d like to thank everyone who wished me well on my birthday.

Councillor Carol Lindsay, said: “Sometimes in life we are blessed to meet special people.

“Jimmy is one of those special people, his enthusiasm for life transcends through his poetry and love of people.”

David Torrance said: “Jimmy is a remarkable gentleman, it is always a pleasure to spend time in his company, I always enjoy listening to him reminisce and recount tales of his fascinating life.

“It was a privilege to deliver a card and personal message from our First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, who has very fond memories of meeting Jimmy several years ago at the Scottish Parliament – and still has the photograph of them that was taken on the day.

“It is testament to just how well known, and loved, Jimmy is from the number of cards and birthday messages he received.”