A FORMER deep-sea diver who laid the foundations of Poole Bridge turns 106 today.
Animal lover Harry Futcher, of Oakdene Nursing and Residential Home, Three Legged Cross, kicked off celebrations yesterday with a visit from Mill Cottage Farm Experience, including pigs, lambs, ducks, rabbits and chickens.
Surrounded by four of his daughters, two grandsons and two great-grandsons, Mr Futcher told tales of diving off the South Coast during the Second World War.
He said: “There’s too many stories to count. There was no messing about, you had to do the job.
“The Americans let us down.
“It’s always dangerous diving, but you had to look out for yourself especially hard.
“I loved it.”
London-born Mr Fulcher, who thanks hard work and good food for his health, has nine grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren.
He has outlived two sons and another daughter.
Last Sunday he revisited Swanage, where he met his wife.
His daughter, Valerie Carr, 60, said: “We see no reason why we shouldn’t all be here celebrating next year, too.”
Oakdene employee Janice Clayton said: “Harry’s incredible. He was a bit poorly when he first came here over two years ago, but he’s so healthy now.”
Brought up in a Poor Law Home from the age of four, Mr Futcher joined the army as a bandsman at 14, and served in Egypt during the First World War.
He married and settled in Dorset, and played in Swanage and Poole Silver Bands.