Blackpool RAF veteran who served in Second World War celebrates 100th birthday

A humble South Shore handyman who served as an airforce gunner in the Second World War insisted he did ‘nothing spectacular’ as he celebrated his centenary year.

By Wes Holmes
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 12:30 pm

William Henry Hampson, better known as Harry, turned 100 on Thursday, June 16, and celebrated the grand occasion with a party at the Hollins Bank Care Home, where he lives.

The former handyman, who served as a gunner on an RAF airfield outside Norwich during the Second World War, said: “To be honest, I have no clue how I got to 100. I've never been a perfect man. I used to drink like a fish once - of course I cut it all out. I've done nothing exemplary. I've enjoyed myself, let’s put it that way... and I'm still ticking now.

"My life growing up is all a very long time ago, because I'm 100 now. I was in the airforce, in what you’d call the RAF regiment. I was a gunner on the ground, guarding the airfields in Norfolk, just outside Norwich. We had a few skirmishes, but I'm still here.

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Henry Hampson celebrates his 100th birthday with family and staff from Hollins Bank Care Home in South Shore

"I still enjoy watching football and I've enjoyed a lot of sports, rugby league, which might have kept me going. Or it might have been the bitter!

“As far as I'm concerned, I have just lived a natural life. I have been very lucky. I did nothing spectacular in my life, but I think I've done well.”

Harry, who was born in Wigan, lived independently in South Shore until just last month, when he moved into the care home on Lytham Road at the age of 99.

Henry Hampson celebrates his 100th birthday with family and staff from Hollins Bank Care Home in South Shore

Hollins Bank Care Home team leader Hayley Fishwick said: “Harry's only been here a couple of weeks. He's lovely. He's an absolute gentleman, he's always got a smile on his face and is always happy to see everybody.

“We had a big party. There was Bucks Fizz flowing and a buffet, so we had a really nice afternoon.”

Harry added: “I had a fantastic day; they were all brilliant and I appreciated it.”