VE Day 75: RAF veteran from Hornchurch celebrates turning 100 on historic anniversary
PUBLISHED: 14:30 08 May 2020
An RAF veteran from Hornchurch is celebrating his own very special milestone on this year’s 75th anniversary of VE Day.
Ron Miller, who served as a photographer during the Second World War, has his 100th birthday today, Friday, May 8.
He spent time serving at RAF bases across the UK and was assigned to 16 Squadron, with whom he was sent to an airbase outside Brussels, Belgium towards the end of the conflict.
When asked on the secret to his long life, Ron told the Recorder: “Just to get on with life and not to moan about things. Just get on with it and help other people.”
He lives at Goldsmere Court, a retirement complex, and said he would normally have a “big party” in the lounge, but the coronavirus outbreak has meant people cannot visit.
He volunteered for the RAF after a doctor signed him off from work at the Murex metal plant in Rainham after he developed 18 boils on his right arm.
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Part of his duties during the war included testing 36 inch-long cameras attached to Spitfire planes and, at times, Ron and other team members would be called to check the cameras as the aircraft were taxiing on the runway.
He remembered spending VE Day, which marked the end of the Second World War, with friends in Holland and getting there by train from Belgium.
Ron recalled getting some suspicious looks from locals at a train station and pointing to the RAF logo on his cap to show who he was.
He added: “When I got into the carriage, people followed me and I put my hand up and said ‘come over here’. All the kids came and I was passing chocolate around.”
Ron, who has three children, eight grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren, worked for an oil firm as a senior technician after the war.
His daughter Barbara Campbell said the family is disappointed not to be able to visit him on his landmark birthday, adding: “Obviously everyone is very disappointed that we will not be able to celebrate in the traditional way with a party but my eldest daughter Leanne is setting up a Zoom meeting with people from all over the country and from abroad.
“Three words explain dad’s priorities and sum him up - family, friends, faith. All three really mean a lot to him.”
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