101-year-old war veteran on Isle of Man reflects on his 'lucky' life in lead up to Remembrance Day

A 101-year-old veteran says war "is such a trauma" and young people "ought to be taught about it" in lead up to remembrance day.

James Fenton, who lives on the Isle of Man, served in the Royal Artillery in Burma, a service often called 'the forgotten army'.

Reflecting on his century-long life, James shared his earliest memory of war and conflict.

He said: "Because of my long life, I've been through quite a few of them.

"My first recollection of armistice was in the [19]20s, when I was small, young."

James Fenton served in the Royal Artillery in Burma. Credit: ITV News

His time in Burma as part of the Royal Artillery was "a trauma" and he describes feeling "lucky" to have lived as long as he has.

"You were either lucky or unlucky," he added.

"And of course, I would say I must have been born under a lucky star."

In 2022, at 100-years-old James travelled from the Isle of Man to London to march alongside the few remaining veterans.

"That was a really great experience.

"The interesting part was trying to find the people from Burma, I think there were only three or four of us actually."

James joined the march for Remembrance Day in London 2022. Credit: ITV News

When asked if James feels his age at 101, he said: "I don't, I don't at all really.

"I walk everyday, somewhere, depending on the weather of course.

"In actual fact to keep myself trim."

And it is all that walking that helped him to keep up with the march for most of the way.

"They asked if I wanted a wheelchair and I said 'no', I wanted to walk," he said.

"But the band is playing, the soldiers in front are marching, everybody is marching.

"And of course a marching pace is different to a walking pace."

James will be attending the Isle of Man's National Service to mark Remembrance Day on 11 November.

He said: "It really is such a trauma that I think the younger people ought to be taught about it, to try to make them realise that wars are certainly not a good thing."

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