Arthur Woodley’s 100th birthday celebrations included a surprise visit from the head of the parish council.
Arthur, a resident at Colten Care’s Brook View care home in West Moors, near Bournemouth, was presented with a card and a bottle of red wine by councillor Penny Yeo.
Mrs Yeo, who was joined by her parish clerk Judi Weedon, said: “When I heard Arthur was turning 100 I wanted very much to meet him.
“It’s not often you have the chance to talk to someone who has lived such a long and interesting life and it has been lovely see all the cards and gifts Arthur has received, including his wonderful card from The Queen.”
Great grandfather Arthur was born near Braintree in Essex in 1916, but moved to Bournemouth with his mother and sister when he was 15 five years after the death of his father.
During his teenage years he and his friends attended dances on Bournemouth Pier, where they would partner the young, female holidaymakers.
Arthur joined the Army Supplementary Reserve in 1938 and travelled to France as part of the Expeditionary Force, where he served as a private in the Royal Army Medical Corps.
Working under canvas at a 1200-bed Army hospital, one of his jobs was to record the many casualties which came in each day.
After the war he met and married his wife Ellen and they had two daughters, Elizabeth and Patricia. The family lived in Winton.
Arthur also returned to his job at the London Electricity Board in Bournemouth, where he would stay for 42 years until retiring.
He said: “I enjoyed my work and liked the people I worked with and we had an active social club where I improved my dancing.”
Arthur also ‘developed’ a talent for landscape photography.
He was chairman of Bournemouth Camera Club twice and his photographs were published in national magazines including Amateur Photographer.
Sadly Arthur lost his wife Ellen in 1988, following a stroke.
The advent of digital photography also saw his interest in his hobby wane and he instead dedicated his time to being a patient visitor for Bournemouth Hospital’s League of Friends, which he enjoyed very much.
Arthur celebrated his 100th birthday with a party at Brook View, with his two daughters, their husbands, his four grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.
He said: “As a younger man I walked everywhere and liked to dance, but I don’t think there is a secret to long life.
“For me, life is a God given gift.”
Maggie Tomlin, Home Manager at Brook View, said: “Arthur certainly enjoyed his 100th birthday.
“He is a very happy and much-loved resident here at Brook View.”
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Note to Journalists: With more than 30 years’ experience, Colten Care is an award-winning family-owned care home company based in Lymington, Hampshire. It has 20 quality care homes covering Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire and offers a range of services spanning residential, nursing and dementia care. Colten Care is determined to set the highest standards in all aspects of care of the older person. Colten Care is also committed to raising money for charitable causes. Residents in each home are encouraged to nominate a main charity to help every year, leaving scope for other organisations to be supported too. Activities organisers, social carers and other team members then enable residents to contribute directly in meaningful ways such as making arts and crafts to sell at fundraising fetes and suggesting ideas for sponsored quizzes. In 2015, Colten Care residents and team members raised nearly £32,000 for charity.