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Bomber Command Veteran and Prisoner of War Camp Survivor Celebrates 100th Birthday

Resident and veteran at Fairmile Grange Care Home in Christchurch, Gordon Simpson, was a navigator in the RAF Bomber Command during the Second World War and turned 100 years old on 21st October.

Gordon, who was always known as “Simmy” in the Forces, joined the 622 Squadron of the Royal Air Force in 1944. Bomber Command crews suffered an extremely high casualty rate, with 55,573 killed out of a total of 125,000 aircrew (44.4% death rate). Furthermore, 9,838 became Prisoners of War, with only 24% survived the war unscathed. Gordon was a Prisoner of War and was liberated from Luckendale prison camp.   There are thought to be fewer than 100 surviving members of Bomber Command in the UK today.

In recognition of Gordon’s service, the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) posted a message on their social media site with a photo of Gordon to mark his milestone birthday. The IBCC has also requested to do an audio interview with Gordon for their archives.

To celebrate his 100th birthday at Fairmile Grange care home, Gordon’s family took him out for lunch and returned for birthday cake and a glass of bubbly. Gordon requested no “fuss”, but he enjoyed the family festivities and decorations at the Home – as well as his very special birthday card from the King.

Gordon said, “I spent a lovely birthday with my family. They showed me a very nice birthday message from the Bomber Command Centre too, which was unexpected. The staff here have been very attentive, and it was nice to raise a glass with my family afterwards at the home.”