A VETERAN living in Christchurch has celebrated his 100th birthday.

Gordon Simpson, a resident at Fairmile Grange Care Home, marked the milestone with birthday cake and a glass of bubbly.

Gordon, who was always known as “Simmy” in the Forces, joined the 622 Squadron of the Royal Air Force in 1944.

He was a prisoner of war and was liberated from Luckendale prison camp. Bomber Command crews suffered an extremely high casualty rate, with 55,573 killed out of a total of 125,000 aircrew.

Furthermore, 9,838 became prisoners of war, with only 24 per cent surviving the war unscathed. There are thought to be fewer than 100 surviving members of Bomber Command in the UK today.

In recognition of Gordon’s service, the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) posted a message on their social media site with a photo of Gordon to mark his milestone birthday.

The IBCC has also requested to do an audio interview with Gordon for their archives.

To celebrate his 100th birthday, which was on October 21, Gordon’s family took him out for lunch and returned for birthday cake and a glass of bubbly.

Gordon requested no "fuss”, but he enjoyed the family festivities and decorations at the home, as well as a very special birthday card from the King.

Gordon said: “I spent a lovely birthday with my family. They showed me a very nice birthday message from the Bomber Command Centre too, which was unexpected.

Fairmile Grange is a home in Christchurch which provides care for residential, nursing, dementia and Alzheimer’s, palliative, and respite residents.

This dedicated care includes a dedicated Wellbeing team who are on hand to organise fun activities to support each resident’s wellbeing.

Gordon added: “The staff here have been very attentive, and it was nice to raise a glass with my family afterwards at the home.”