Raising the roof for Jim’s special birthday

Jim Crossan celebrates his 100th birthday at the White Church, Fairhaven
Jim Crossan celebrates his 100th birthday at the White Church, Fairhaven
Share this article
0
Have your say

A Fylde veteran who survived the horrors of a Japanese prisoner of war camp celebrated his centenary at the White Church.

Jim Crossan enjoyed his 100th birthday celebration at the church in Fairhaven, where he is a parishioner and member of the church choir.

John Cooper, parishioner at the White Church on Clifton Drive, said: “ Readers of The Express may remember just over two years ago reading about Jim Crossan who survived first the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940 and then the horrors of a Japanese prisoner of war camp from 1942 until the end of the Second World War.

“Jim was one of 60,000 Allied prisoners of war who were forced to work in Thailand on the construction of the Burma Railway during those three years, the cruelty and hardship of which were graphically depicted in films such as Bridge Over The River Kwai and The Railway Man.”

Jim and the other prisoners of war toiled for 20 hours a day in 100F heat, malnourished and diseased.

They had poor equipment, few rations and were beaten by their guards if they stepped out of line.

John added: “Jim has been a member of the White Church for many years and, having turned 100 last week, he was present at church on Sunday morning for a special celebration.

“Jim has received lots of cards from friends and church members but receiving a greetings card personally signed by The Queen has been a tremendous thrill for him.

“After the service Jim was presented in the Dawson Hall with a beautifully decorated birthday cake and a cheque for £100 collected from the congregation.”