AN Ealing veteran celebrated his centenary on Sunday.

Ollie Cromey, who has spent more than half of his life in the town, had his 100th birthday at the weekend, surrounded by family and friends.

The centenarian, who was born in 1914 in Westfield Road and now lives in Bracknell, enjoyed three separate parties on Saturday and Sunday. He was joined by loved ones, who had travelled from as far as Australia.

Ollie, who has five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, said: “Nobody can be more surprised than me – it’s amazing. I am lucky to have had a long and happy life surrounded by my lovely family."

The ex-Northfields School pupil began his working life as a delivery boy for Stowells Wine Merchants and later became a painter and decorator.

During the war, he was a sapper in the Royal Engineers and was part of the D-Day invasion in Normandy.

In 1939, he married his first wife, with whom he had two daughters, Sheila and Carole. After separating, Ollie married Marjorie, who died in 2001.

Daughter Sheila, who organised his birthday celebrations, said: “How lucky I am to have such a special Dad. Everybody thinks the world of him and he is known as ‘a real gentleman’.”

The Mayor of Bracknell, Cllr Alan Kendall, also attended the celebrations to mark the special day.

Asked about the key to long life, Ollie said: “All things in moderation and a little of what you fancy does you good.”