100 not out – Barkingside war veteran celebrates centenary year

Centenarian James Pope with family and friends

Centenarian James Pope with family and friends - Credit: Archant

A Second World War veteran celebrated his 100th birthday at a Barkingside care home by singing Tony Bennett songs.

James Pope lived in Old Street, working in Smithfield Meat Market before serving in the Second World War.

Mr Pope returned to work after the war having served in Germany, Cyprus, Italy and France as a member of the Royal Engineers.

He now lives at Cranvale Residential Care Home in Buntingbridge Road where he spent his 100th birthday.

Stepson Ray Harris, 70, of Woodman Path, Hainault, said: “I am really proud of him, he is doing really well.

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“We lost mum last Christmas when she went into the hospital and she had a heart attack. She never had a chance to say goodbye to her husband.”

Irene Pope, or Rose as she was known to friends, was never left alone by Mr Pope, according to Mr Harris.

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Mr Pope is said to have “a fantastic memory” and still has a tremendous appetite for food.

Mr Harris said: “He can remember what he had for breakfast but also all his school memories too.”

He added: “He was just a nice man – he would never leave her on her own.

“He was old fashioned like that. He would ask if she wanted to do something – if she didn’t then he would just stay in with her.”

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