'Remarkable' WW2 veteran celebrates 100th birthday in St Ives surrounded by family

Harry Hughes received a letter from King George, congratulating him for the medals he was awarded during WWII Credit: BPM Media

An RAF veteran who served in the Second World War has celebrated turning 100 surrounded by his family and carers.

Harry Hughes received a card from the Queen on his birthday, congratulating him on reaching the landmark on 10 August.

The centenarian was one of five survivors of the Bomber Command Offensive, a strategic attack which weakened Germany’s ability to fight.

Harry’s son Jerry Hughes attended his birthday celebrations, along with the rest of his family. He said: "We had a fantastic party. Harry is bedridden, but he had lots of visitors - particularly from Penhellis carers who look after him brilliantly.

“Without them, I don't think he would have made it. Their care and love is just amazing."

Harry Hughes spent his landmark birthday surrounded by family and carers Credit: BPM Media

Originally from Dorset, Harry joined the RAF aged 18 in 1941 as a trainee navigator. After completing his training, he joined the squadron at RAF Pocklington flying Halifaxes.

Jerry explained that Pocklington was "one of the worst hit squadrons" and that his father's survival was nothing short of "remarkable."

Harry showed off his many medals to mark his landmark birthday, among them, a Distinguished Flying Cross, a Distinguished Flying Medal, and an India Independence Medal.

Harry also displayed a letter from King George, which he received as a congratulations for medals he received during his service in the war.

For the past 50 years, Harry has been enjoying his retirement in Cornwall, devoting a lot of his time to the National Coastwatch Institution, helping to raise finances for their radar system.

Jerry expressed how proud the family are of Harry’s achievements.

"His four sons, including me, are all dead proud of him and what he has achieved. His family appreciate him,” he said.

“His daughter-in-laws love him, his grandchildren think he is amazing, his great-grandchildren think he is amazing. We all appreciate what he has done."