He was 100 years old yesterday and Fred Hermon, of Sutton Place, marked the occasion with friends at the Royal British Legion in London Road.
The branch means a great deal to Fred who has been involved in the charity side of the legion such as the Poppy Appeal and believes it is a “wonderful” charity.
Fred, who served with the Royal Signals during the war and took part in the invasion of Madagascar, has been a legion member for more than 50 years.
He was born in Kenley, Surrey, and when he left school began working for the County of London Electrical Supply Company - later Seeboard - in a clerical position where he stayed for most of his working life.
He married Elizabeth in 1937 and they brought up their son Frederick in Purley.
When Fred retired he indulged his passion for gardening by setting up his own horticultural business which he ran from home.
“That kept me young,” said Fred, whose own mother lived to be 103.
“I have never smoked and I have always had an active life. I think it also helps that I was outside in the garden all the time.”
He has two grandsons, Richard and Philip, and is now a great-grandfather.