An RAF veteran in Telford has continued his centenary birthday celebrations by planting 100 peacock orchid bulbs and a beautiful pink rose.
This week green-fingered Horace Smith, who lives at Sanctuary Care’s Lake View Residential Care Home, which provides residential care and dementia care, sowed a bulb for every year of his life in front of four generations of his family.
Horace, who was born on Monday 22 March 1915 in Luton, Bedfordshire, said: “I used to love planting around my bungalow so I’ve been really looking forward to taking part in this, this afternoon.”
Armed with his garden hoe and spade Horace proudly scattered all 100 bulbs, as well as planting a ‘Mary Rose’ in honour of his late wife, Mary – which he can admire from his bedroom window.
Son Bob Smith, who kindly donated all the bulbs and rose to the home, added: “My dad has been in Lake View since October of last year and has received wonderful care from all the team and it was our pleasure to mark his 100th birthday in a way that the other residents can enjoy as well.”
Bob said: “The centre of his life was my mother, he was very much in love with her and the family was their focus in life – he was very devoted to his family.”
During the Second World War, Horace spent the first part working as a mechanic on aircraft involved in the Battle of Britain, where the German air force’s attempted to gain superiority over the RAF on the south coast of England.
Horace’s squadron was later posted to the Russian front but the convoy carrying the machinery and equipment was sunk by a German U-Boat. Horace was then posted to India, where he spent four years on the RAF team looking after Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten - the head of the British administration there.
When Horace was demobbed he and Mary moved to Chesterfield in Derbyshire where son Bob was born. In 1955 the family returned to Luton. The family has now flourished to three grandchildren, Alison, Neil and Andrew and two great grandchildren, Charlotte and Olivia.
The Sanctuary Care home’s manager Sally-Ann Matts concluded: “Planting the 100 bulbs is such a lovely way to mark a wonderful occasion. As Horace’s fellow residents, the team here at Lake View and future visitors will thoroughly enjoy watching the bulbs blossom!”