A World War Two forces hero rolled back the years at a forties-themed surprise party with family and friends.
Gunner Stan Bunby, who served with the Royal Artillery in Malta and Egypt during the conflict, was treated to the nostalgic celebration with more than 100 guests packing into Thorne’s Punchbowl Inn to help him toast his big day.
Mr Bunby, aged 96, proudly sported his medals as he mingled with fellow ex-servicemen.
Entertainment included wartime songs from forties singer Paula Marie – as well as a few numbers performed by Mr Bunby – and party goers enjoyed a specially designed regimental cake created by cake maker Suzanne Beggs.
Mr Bunby, of Bellwood Crescent, Thorne, was visibly moved as he arrived at the pub where he was greeted by Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire David Moody.
He said: “I am so happy that they did all this for me.
“It has come as a total shock because I wasn’t expecting any of this.
“I am pleased to see so many people here – it is such a big surprise.”
His great niece Karaline Reed and family friends Michelle Holden and Ilma Spence threw themselves into organising the bash, with many guests sporting forties style outfifts including army uniforms, Land Girl outfits and hairstyles from the era.
The room was also decked out in red, white and blue Union flags, Maltese flags, because Mr Bunby served in the country, and nostalgic reminders of the era including ration books.
The bash was played out to a soundtrack of 1940s music. Karaline said: “It is wonderful to see so many friends and family here for Stan. He has had an absolutely lovely time and we are so pleased so many people came out to celebrate with him.”
Coun Martin Williams, who also helped to organise the event, said: “Stan’s the man.
“War veterans like him are thin on the ground and we need to celebrate their efforts.”
A planned flypast had to be shelved after the aircraft had navigational problems en route but that didn’t spoil the fun.
Party goers sang wartime era classics such as There Always Be An England and The White Cliffs Of Dover.
Guests wiped away the tears as Mr Bunby himself took to the microphone to perform a moving rendition of If I Had My Life To Live Over, which became a big hit and a popular song among British servicemen during World War Two.
Mr Bunby said: “To walk into the room and see all those people gathered there for me was such a wonderful surprise.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for making it such a special day.”