A WWII hero whose MBE was delayed due to Covid was given a special home makeover to mark his 100th birthday.
Veteran Wilfred Oldham said he wanted to get his bungalow redecorated to celebrate his centenary but returned home to find it had already been done.
His family secretly got in touch with a housing association who decided to daub each room of his house with a fresh lick of paint.
Wilfred took part in the Battle of Arnham in the Netherlands in September 1944 as part of Operation Market Garden.
He was due to receive his MBE for his service in April but unfortunately due to Covid the commemoration was delayed.
But the sprightly veteran said he is “overwhelmed” by the birthday gesture, and plans to celebrate the big 100 with his pals at the Bolton Parachute Regimental Association.
Wilfred, from Radcliffe, near Bury, Lancs., said: “I am overwhelmed by this birthday gift, it’s the last thing I would have expected and I am eternally grateful and want to thank all concerned.”
The work was carried out by Six Town Housing after they contacted by Wilfred’s family.
Rick Doyle, New Works site manager for Six Town Housing, said, “Wilfred has lived an extraordinary life and when we found out that he was disappointed not to have been awarded his MBE in person, we knew we had to do something special to mark his milestone birthday.”
During the Second World War Mr Oldham served in the Airbourne Division and saw action at the Battle of Arnhem as well as in Sicily, North Africa and Italy.
He served in the Airlanding Brigade until the end of the war before returning home to Radcliffe where he worked in the textile industry until his retirement.