Harry’s all smiles as he homes in on 100

HEADING FOR 100 Harry Semark
HEADING FOR 100 Harry Semark
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David Curwen, centre, hugs his mother with whom he wa sreunited. Completing the group is his brother Keith

THIS WEEK IN 1975: Reunited after 30 years – but only thanks to a kind stranger

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IT IS soon to be 100 years and counting for Harry Semark, who is due to celebrate his 100th birthday on March 25.

The 99-year-old has lived through both world wars and spent 39 years in the Royal Navy.

Originally from Kent, he moved to Portsmouth 50 years ago with his late wife Joyce, to whom he was married to for 64 years.

He is awaiting his letter from The Queen and expects it in the days after his birthday.

Still in good health and good spirits, Harry has a few simple reasons why he thinks that is.

He said: ‘I never drank alcohol and I never smoked. I met such a wonderful woman who looked after me and kept an eye on what I ate. Also, I would put it down to luck.

‘I was born in 1913 and just four years later, I had to live through an air raid during World War One in Kent.

‘Then in 1939 I joined the Navy and I served in the Royal Naval Armament Department as a gun fitter.

‘I travelled around the whole of England, going on board the ships and fixing the guns. Later on in my carer, I became a technical officer.

‘One of my fondest memories is when I met King George VI in 1943 on board a battleship in Scapa Flow.’

Harry, from Heyshott Road, Southsea, wanted to share his time as a civil servant during the war and wrote a book which has recently been published.

One Civil Servant’s World War II took four years to write and Harry dedicated it to his wife.

Richard Semark, Harry’s son, aged 70, said: ‘The book is split into two categories. It has technical parts which explain what he did but it also has little stories about the times he had during the war.

‘Harry was quite an expert and still is now. He knows so much about the job he used to do and it was very important to him.’

Harry has also had another three books published and One Civil Servant’s World War II is on sale at Amazon.