AN RAF veteran who lives in Bromsgrove celebrated his 100th birthday yesterday (Friday, November 24).
Peter John Gould was born in Bombay in 1923 and sailed to England in 1939 to enrol in the Royal Air Force at RAF.
He then trained as a flight engineer, flew Lancaster Bombers and was part of the 98 Squadron, fighting in Bomber Command. He was also part of the Pathfinder Force on D-Day.
He completed a full tour of duty during the Second World War, surviving a total of 45 sorties.
He was awarded the Legion d’Honneur – France’s top military honour – for operations his squadron carried out on the day of the Normandy Landings.
After the RAF, he worked as a sales manager in Remington in Leicester before going onto work as a fire protection engineer and manager at Chubbs until he retired at the age of 65.
In his free time, Peter loved swimming and was secretary for the Leicester Swimming Club as well as competing in the city’s Water Polo team.
Serving the community
Peter was one of the founding members of Bromsgrove Lions and also served as president.
He helped as a treasurer for the RAF Benevolent Fund and volunteered for the Royal British Legion.
Later in life he became a member of the University of the Third Age (U3A) and the group’s poetry club.
When he was in his 80s, he learnt to use a computer and wrote a book called ‘The Best Twelve Years’ – his insight into his time in the RAF.
Peter also appeared on The One Show on the BBC. The episode featured the Second World War aircraft landing system called ‘Fido’ (Fog Investigation and Dispersal Operation) which was used to disperse fog so aircraft could land safely.
And he still has a passion for Rugby Union.
Peter married Kath and they had four children – Christopher, Jennifer, Pamela and Patricia.
Sadly Kath passed away at the age of 52.
Peter now has seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Peter later married Sylvia who has also since passed away.
He now lives in Charford in Bromsgrove.
Peter’s 100th birthday was celebrated at the Jinney Ring Craft Centre in Hanbury where he was surrounded by his family and friends – including members of the Bromsgrove Lions, the Royal British Legion, The RAF Association (RAFA) and Bromsgrove District Council chairman, Coun Sam Ammar.
His granddaughter Kelly Oliver said: “He really enjoyed his day – representatives all of his interests and associations he was involved with came along and made it a very special occasion.
“His 100th birthday is certainly a good advert for living a very full and active life.”