With 50 years’ loyal service in Portsmouth Dockyard, it’s fitting that Arthur Poole was born on Trafalgar Day. But Arthur has got something else to celebrate today, as he marks his 100th birthday.
Arthur, from Waterlooville, will mark his centenary surrounded by close family, friends and neighbours at his bungalow on the Highfield estate.
Arthur was born on October 21, 1914 in Portsmouth. He married Florence Tee in 1938, and they spent 55 happy years of marriage together until she passed away in 1993 aged 76.
They had sons Alan, 71, and Michael, 67, and today Arthur is head of a five-generation family with four grandchildren, eight great-grand-children and one great-great grand-daughter aged five.
On Sunday the family got together to celebrate Arthur’s milestone at Alan and daughter-in-law Pauline’s house at Grassmere Way in Waterlooville.
Alan says: ‘When we were winding up I asked my father if he enjoyed the day.
‘He said “Al – which is what he calls me – I have had a fantastic day.”’
Family friends from Cornwall and Horsham and Arthur’s niece and her husband from Canterbury travelled to see him.
‘At one stage we had nearly 70 people in our living room, it was a superb day,’ says Alan.
During his working life, Arthur was a stalwart of Portsmouth Dockyard, working on Admiralty tugboats. He followed in his father Bill’s footsteps – between Arthur and his father, who lived to the age of 99, they contributed 101 years of service as naval seamen.
Arthur’s love for gardening, DIY, and family life saw him active for many years after retirement in 1979, and as an avid Pompey supporter he rarely missed a game at Fratton Park.
He was able to continue visiting friends in Canada until early in his 90s.
More recently, he has participated in the luncheon club at the Cowplain Age Concern where he has met new friends and will be celebrating his special anniversary with them on Thursday.
Arthur is still independent in the same bungalow he has lived in for 36 years, with support from his family.