A SECOND World War veteran who grew up in Burnley had a special 100th birthday message broadcast from a giant billboard.

Charlie Pallett, who celebrated his centenary on Tuesday, has raised more than £27,000 for Help for Heroes after going behind the mic for a performance of Keep Right On To The End Of The Road.

A heart-warming video of the great-great-grandfather delivering the rousing rendition of one of his favourite songs while wearing his medals has received thousands of views online.

Mr Pallett, undaunted by being registered blind and wearing two hearing aids, previously said he wanted to “raise money for the lads, the guys I was with in the war”.

Born in Derbyshire, Mr Pallett’s family moved to Burnley, Lancashire, when he was a baby.

After working in the coal mines, he had just got a job as a lorry driver when in 1939, at the age of 18, he received a letter telling him he had been called up.

During the war he served as a driver and later as a dispatch rider in the 53rd Welsh Division and 52nd Lowland Division, eventually rising to the rank of corporal.

His service took him to the north of Germany, where he broke his ankle, before going out to Singapore.

As a tribute to the veteran, who now lives in Shepway, Kent, Help for Heroes arranged for a birthday message to be displayed on a large advertising screen in Leicester Square, London, to be played once every minute for 24 hours on Tuesday.

Wishing him a happy birthday, the billboard donated by Ocean Outdoor said: “WW2 hero Charlie Pallett turns 100 today, but he doesn’t want presents..."

Quoting Mr Pallett, it added: “Instead of presents, please donate to Help for Heroes because as a veteran, it’s a very special charity to me”.

Appearing alongside his daughter, Yvonne Elliott, on BBC Breakfast, Mr Pallett said he and his comrades used to sing the song when heading back to their billets after marching and training..

Ms Elliot's father, sporting a '100 today' badge, said that, when the initiative started, he had said: “If we don’t get £1,000 by my birthday then I will put it in there.”

“I didn’t think it would do anything."

Asked by the BBC how he planned to celebrate his birthday, Mr Pallett joked: “First of all, I think I might have a brandy and ginger.

“If I empty the bottle too early I might pass out, you never know.”

It was while he was stationed in Maidstone, Kent, that he met his future wife, Madge, and they married in 1943.

After leaving the Army, Mr Pallett worked as a labourer, bus driver and postman, and ended up as a guillotine operator in a local printers.

Donations to Mr Pallett’s fundraiser can be made at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/charliepallett100-helpforheroes