A retired pharmacist and former RAF serviceman from Cambridge celebrated his 100th birthday with a celebratory trip to the Imperial War Museum (IWM) at Duxford yesterday.
George Cunningham, who resides at Primrose Croft Care Home, Chesterton, rang in the landmark birthday with a visit to the attraction, followed by cake and a party at the home.
Accompanied by his wife Mary, 86, daughters Jane and Anne, and carers from the home, George was taken
on a day trip to the IWM by Panther Taxis, who agreed to take them for free.
Daughter Jane Daniels, 64, said: “Dad has had dementia for the past few years, but he seems to know me still and my mum visits him twice a week.
“He served as a pharmacist in the RAF so it seemed like a nice idea to take him down to Duxford for his birthday.”
Born in Hampshire and raised in Aldborough, Yorkshire, George was apprenticed as a chemist after leaving school, and continued to attend night school classes in order to become a fully-qualified pharmacist.
After passing his exams, he began working at the Boots pharmacy in his hometown until he was called up to serve in the Second World War.
Still working as a pharmacist, George travelled with the RAF from Bournemouth to Iceland, before ending the war in Ely where he met his future-wife Mary.
The couple married in 1947, after which they moved to Bedford where George worked at Boots again while Mary raised their daughters Jane and Anne, now 59.
In 1964, the family moved to Willow Crescent, Milton, after George was transferred to the Boots branch in Chesterton Road, where he worked until his retirement at 60.
He later became a grandfather to Matthew, 30, Timothy, 29, Jenny, 28, and 25-year-old Alice, though only Jenny still lives in the country and was the only grandchild able to attend the celebrations.
Jane said: “Dad has always been a very sociable person. He loves sport, especially football and carpet bowls, which he took up after he retired.
“He absolutely loved gardening, going out for meals and going on cruises. Even when he was in his 90s, he went to visit my sister when she lived in America.”
She added: “The staff at Primrose Croft have been wonderful. I think dad believes he’s still living at home – he sometimes calls the carers Mary – but that’s good because I think it means he’s happy.”
Read more at http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/RAF-pharmacist-celebrates-100th-birthday-special/story-23005673-detail/story.html#YY3Vj2vmtStmhYVM.99