Waterlooville navy veteran celebrates 104th birthday

A Royal Navy veteran and ‘true gentleman’ has turned 104 at Wellington Vale Care Home.

By Elsa Waterfield
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 9:43 am

Thomas Victor Hyom, known as Tom to friends and family, celebrated his 104th birthday on April 22 at the Waterlooville care home.

The centenarian was joined by his daughter Maureen, son-in-law Robert Dunkley and granddaughter-in-law Sian, topped off with a birthday cake baked by the Wellington Vale chef.

Robert said: ‘All of the family are so proud of Tom reaching 104 years of age. To be able to celebrate with Tom in person and watch him smile as he opened his presents was a day we will cherish forever.’

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Thomas Hyom, Maureen Dunkley (daughter), Robert Dunkley (son-in-law), Sian Dunkley (granddaughter-in-law) and Karina Goddard, Senior Carer, Wellington Vale care home.

Gaynor Rhead, general manager at Wellington Vale, part of the Cinnamon Care Collection, said: ‘Tom had a really special day. He adores his family and was thrilled to spend time with them.

He also enjoyed celebrating with fellow residents and carers – we all made him feel very spoiled, with presents, balloons and a homemade cake.’

Tom is one of the oldest veterans in the area. He joined the Royal Navy at HMS Vincent, Gosport when he was 16 and served in the navy for 32 years, reaching the rank of Master-at-arms.

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Tom Hyom on his 104th birthday.

He was awarded the Arctic Star for the role he played as a Leading Seaman in the second Battle of Narvik in the Second World War aboard HMS Cossack.

Gaynor added: ‘Tom is such a special member of the Wellington Vale family and, having lived here for over four years, he is very close to our hearts. He is a true gentleman with a very kind nature who is always smiling.

‘Even at 104, his chivalry and good manners stand out - for example, he always ensures that any ladies in the care home walk through the doors before him. It was an honour to celebrate his birthday with him and we all wish him a healthy and happy year ahead!’

Wellington Vale is an exclusive care home which offers residential, dementia, nursing and respite care.