Garden party marks 100th birthday for Littlehampton great-grandad

Ken at his birthday party with son Les Young and daughter-in-law Sue
Ken at his birthday party with son Les Young and daughter-in-law Sue

About 50 people gathered for a garden tea party to celebrate a very special birthday for a Littlehampton man.

Kenard Victor Young, of Furzedown, Littlehampton, celebrated his 100th birthday surrounded by a group of loving family, friends and neighbours.

Ken at age 20, when he was in the army

Ken at age 20, when he was in the army

Described by family as a very special man who enchanted everyone he met, Ken was born on May 24, 1919 in Woolwich, London.

He went into the Army at the age of 19 and was in the Royal Artillery, working as a driver on the guns.

After the war, Ken worked for Greenwich Borough Council as a paver for around 40 years, before moving in later life to Littlehampton from London to be closer to his family.

The 100th birthday telegram from the queen was not Ken’s first, as he was married to his wife Harriet for more than 60 years.

Sue Young, Ken’s daughter-in-law, said: “Everybody who meets him says he is a lovely man. He loves people, he loves to talk to people. He likes to laugh.

“You come away laughing when you have spoken to him, he likes to make people happy.

“The nurses say he is such a lovely man. He never wants to be any trouble and always wants to do his best.”

Ken is described as a very laid-back man who does not get stressed easily and takes everything in his stride.

He has two children, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, who he loves to spend time with. He still makes a cup of tea and gets about indoors as best he can, and the family often takes him out in his wheelchair when they can.

His family said Ken loves to watch all sports, catching any sport he can on the TV, but has a particular soft spot for his favourite football team Charlton Athletic.

Ken’s family arranged a garden tea party for him last Sunday, including a birthday cake which read ‘Ken, 100 years young’.

At the party, Ken enjoyed being the centre of attention and spending time with everyone as that is what he likes, as well as joking and making people happy.

Sue said: “All went really well. The weather was kind to us, albeit a little chilly. Ken really enjoyed his day and was so pleased to see all his family, friends and neighbours.”