WW2 Royal Navy veteran celebrates 100th birthday in Plymouth

Mr Glover was joined by serving sailors from Devonport Naval Base. Credit: Royal Navy

A Royal Navy veteran who served in World War Two has celebrated his 100th birthday.

Jack Glover, who lives in Plymouth, served as a message decoder aboard HMS Royalist during the Second World War.

He was 19 when he joined the ship and was responsible for communicating with Naval HQs and other warships as well as intercepting signals from the German Navy.

At his birthday party, the veteran was joined by serving officers from the Royal Navy in addition to friends and family.

He also received a card from King Charles and Queen Camilla.

Mr Glover served aboard the HMS Royalist and was part of the Arctic convoy. Credit: Royal Navy

During the war, Mr Glover saw action in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Far East.

He was also part of the Artic convoy, a huge maritime operation to supply aid to Soviet Russia in their fight against Navy Germany.

It was a dangerous mission, with those on board facing severe weather conditions and attacks from the Luftwaffe and U-boats.

As a decoder, Mr Glover said he had an easier job than some of his comrades.

"I was operating inside the ship, so I wasn't exposed to the Artic weather, so I had a fairly easy time really," he said.

"I just remember the bunks being so close together. You could literally wake up and put your feet in someone else's breakfast."

Mr Glover's close friend on board was Alistair MacLean, who became a best-selling novelist and screenwriter.

He said he recognised himself in the novels as he "was part of that story".

"I identified myself in them and in a lot of what was going on there, as I was with him at the time," he added.

After the war, Mr Glover returned to his life as an accountant.

He described serving in the convoys as a "dangerous job".

He said: "We were all under threat, but we were young and more interested in getting to the nearest port and having a beer.

"Some things don't change in the Royal Navy."

Mr Glover served as a message decoder and was responsible for communicating with Naval HQs. Credit: Royal Navy

Among present-day sailors joining Mr Glover for his milestone birthday was Commander Martin Malone, Executive Officer of Devonport Naval Base.

"It was an absolute pleasure and an honour to be part of Jack's 100th birthday celebration," he said.

"Jack is sharp and witty, with a fascinating wartime career. He is wished all the very best from the Naval Base Commander Devonport, and the wider naval family," he added.