Leeds World War Two veteran celebrates 100th birthday with family via Zoom at Moortown care home
A former army engineer who served in Egypt during World War Two has celebrated his 100th birthday at a Leeds care home.
Grandfather-of-six Herbert Miller marked the milestone with afternoon tea at Donisthorpe Hall in Moortown as family and friends joined in online via Zoom.
Mr Miller was working as an engineer at the Barnbow Royal Ordnance Factory at Cross Gates in 1943 when he was called up to serve in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME).
After a number of UK postings he was sent to Tel El Kabir in Egypt, between Cairo and Port Said.
Mr Miller returned to his engineering job at Barnbow in 1948 after being demobbed.
He met his future wife Lilian, now aged 87, in a pub in Manchester in the late 1950s and they got married in Leeds in 1961.
The couple, who lived in Moortown, have three children and six grandchildren.
Mr Miller, known to friends as Bert and also Herby, was born in Liverpool on November 8 1920.
He was one of four children to parents Abraham and Lena, who had married in 1909.
The Miller family was one of the largest in Liverpool and his father Abraham played football at Anfield for Liverpool Amateurs.
Mr Miller moved to Leeds with his family in 1939 at the outbreak of the Second World War.
After the war, Mr Miller worked in human resources at the Royal Ordnance Factory at Cross Gates, which was now producing Centurion tanks.
In 1955 he brushed past King Hussein of Jordan while he was visiting the factory.
Mr Miller's children, Marcia, Shelley and Andrew said the family recorded video messages, which were played to him on the day.
They said: “Dad had the most wonderful afternoon and we can’t thank Donisthorpe Hall enough for the effort they made to mark this truly special birthday in light of the current lockdown restrictions.
"He received cards and messages from all over the world and was overjoyed by the love and kindness shown to him by the staff and fellow residents at the home.”
Speaking on behalf of Donisthorpe Hall, care home manager Nicola Murphy said: “We wanted to make Bert’s birthday as special and as memorable as possible for Bert, but also for his family and friends.
"We were unable to celebrate in the conventional way, but the staff here worked incredibly hard to prepare and serve a delicious afternoon tea complete with music, decorations and of course, a fabulous cake.
"Thanks to technology, Bert’s family and friends were also able to join the party ‘virtually’ and enjoy all the celebrations."