A WAR veteran who lost his arm in action celebrated his 100th birthday surrounded by family and friends.

Great-grandchildren flew in from New Zealand to see Raymond Creasy, who turned 100 on Monday, July 7.

His three children, ten grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren marked the occasion with a party at the Godden Lodge care home, in Hart Road, Thundersley.

The centenarian served in the Second World War with the 16th/5th Lancers as a tank gunner in Africa and lost his left arm in Italy, after being hit by a shell.

He married sweetheart Violet in 1940 and the pair enjoyed a 70-year marriage living in Leigh, before Violet died aged 95 five years ago.

Working on the railways for most of his life, Mr Creasy is a keen churchgoer and was a regular at Elim church, in Leigh.

Son Trevor, 72, of Thames Close, Leigh said: “He is strong-willed and despite a disability of having one arm, he just carried on. He is absolutely determined in his nature. It is quite remarkable to reach 100. He loves his grandchildren all being around. He was overjoyed to have them together at the party.

“My eldest son, Andrew, came over from New Zealand with his wife and children. They stayed for the party and his actual birthday on Monday and really enjoyed the celebrations.”