14th Aug, 2020

War veteran John celebrates centenary with special video chat

Ian Hughes 8th Jul, 2020 Updated: 8th Jul, 2020

A SECOND World War veteran celebrated his 100th birthday with a surprise virtual chat with The Royal British Legion (RBL) and the British Army.

John Campion, a former Royal Artillery Heavy Anti-aircraft gunner, who now lives at Kineton Manor care home, was overjoyed to learn his niece had asked the Armed Forces charity to make a surprise call to him to mark his milestone birthday on June 29.

David Fairclough, RBL West Midlands Team Leader, said: “In true Legion form we didn’t do things by halves and as well as myself and my colleague Victoria Bagshaw sitting in on the call, we also asked the Army to get involved to share the surprise.

“Major Matt Bowsley, Explosive Safety Representative at Defence Munitions Kineton, was all too happy to be part of the call and described to John what the local barracks at Kineton in the county are now up to, while Victoria described her use of old Army equipment from the local area!

“It was a true honour to be part of John’s celebrations and due to the current Covid-19 guidelines, this was the best way to celebrate with John.”

As well as listening to his birthday messages from the Legion and the Army, John also opened his telegram from HM The Queen during the call

Born in Northamptonshire, John moved to Butlers Marston in Warwickshire at the age of seven when his father was employed on the railway.

At school he met Freda, who would later become his wife, and he was called up to the Army at the outbreak of war and was demobbed in 1946.

After the war, John became a master craftsman, called upon to do specialist bricklaying. He was also a skilled footballer, playing for the local Kineton team, and in later years a keen gardener, tending to his own until his move to the care home earlier this year.

 

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