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  1. ITV Report

Born just after the First World War, veterans turn 100 together

Jeffrey Hayward and George Parsons have a lot to talk about. They were both born just after the First World War ended. They both then fought in the Second World War, Jeff at Dunkirk, George all over Europe. They both made it safely home. And they've both just turned 100.

As young soldiers they feared they'd never get to grow old.

I didn't think I was going to get to 100. I spent about six years in Norway fighting and even my family said they didn't think they'd see me back again. I said I'd turn up again, don't worry.

– George Parsons

George Parsons fought in Norway and then joined the new Commando Regiment. Jeffrey Hayward was part of a unit that formed a perimeter around Dunkirk as the Germans were advancing.

In the confusion at night i was shot by one of my own men and then we invaded Sicily and the and a German shot me with his Luger [pistol].

– Jeffrey Hayward
Jeffrey Hayward
George Parsons

They also marked the 74th anniversary of VJ Day singing together just as crowds of Londoners did all those years ago when Japan surrendered to the allies and the war finally ended.

VJ Day

I thought goodness me - it's over! I'm still more or less in one bit because along the way I'd been wounded twice. I just couldn't believe it - that it was really over.

– Jeffrey Hayward

I organised a big street party and lots of dancing in the street. Whip the old piano out in the middle of the road - sing song and everything. It was a happy time!

– George Parsons

Looking back they have this advice for today's young Londoners.

Go out and enjoy yourself and do everything you want to do. Make sure you've done it all.

They never taught me to be a soldier but they taught me how to drink a wee dram - a drop of whiskey. In moderation.

– Jeffrey Hayward

A simple recipe for a long and happy life.