PEOPLE travelled from all corners of the UK to celebrate a Worthing war hero’s 100th birthday.
Leonard Salter’s birthday bash at Birch Tree Court, Worthing, was attended by family from Scotland and Wales, residents of the home and a one-man band playing classic songs.
Leonard is a Fulham FC fan, who served in North Africa and Italy in World War 2, and used to own a sweet shop in Reigate, Surrey, before moving to Worthing 40 years ago.
He said: “I was not expecting this many people to turn up. All of the family have come to see me – there are members of the family here that I have not even met.”
Leonard’s step-daughter Avelin Harris arranged the event along with her son Mark Fuller, and said Leonard received medals in the war but has never got round to collecting them.
She said: “We have offered to collect them for him but he just says ‘they knew where to find him when they needed me so they can find me now – I don’t want them’.”
She added: “Len has always had a really good sense of humour, even now, which is good. It’s a wicked sense of humour, he takes the micky out of everyone.
“He’s a very caring man who just loves helping other people, and I think that shows because all of the residents here seem to get on with him.”
Franklin Bowes, who used to work with Leonard, said even after so many years he had not aged.
He said: “We used to work in an accounts department together and he was ever the gentleman and that is why everyone got on with him.
“He always seems to stay the same, looking at him today, I would have thought he was still about 70 years old.”