Portsmouth Second World War veteran Lawrence Blythe celebrates 100th birthday at home with friends

A second world war veteran has celebrated his 100th birthday surrounded by friends at his home in Portsmouth.
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Lawrence "Laurie" Blythe marked his centenary in Manchester Road on March 23, and was delighted to rcieve a customary card from King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

Laurie with neighbours at his beloved pond.Laurie with neighbours at his beloved pond.
Laurie with neighbours at his beloved pond.

He was joined by neighbours Jim and Pauline Birchall, Gerry Southgate and Anita Stapleton. The group brought gifts and cards for the former Able Seaman to celebrate the momentous occassion, and Gerry told The News that Laurie had a "lovely day". In an intimate celebration, settled on instead of an initially discussed street party, they brought him a piece of cake and sang Happy Birthday.

Laurie's window display of military memorabilia.Laurie's window display of military memorabilia.
Laurie's window display of military memorabilia.
Laurie Blythe, of Fratton, on his 100th birthday. He is pictured holding his card from the King and Queen
Picture: Chris  MoorhouseLaurie Blythe, of Fratton, on his 100th birthday. He is pictured holding his card from the King and Queen
Picture: Chris  Moorhouse
Laurie Blythe, of Fratton, on his 100th birthday. He is pictured holding his card from the King and Queen Picture: Chris Moorhouse
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Gerry has known Laurie for more than a decade, and the pair met when they would both walk their Yorkshire Terriers in the neighbourhood. Lawrence was given his dog, Monty - who passed away last year - by Pauline, who regulary visits him to check in.

When asked what the secret to his longevity has been, Laurie said that his beloved garden pond - which he built himself - is part of what has kept him going over the years.

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