War veteran and former butcher celebrates turning 104

104 year old Sam Curry. Picture by FRANK REID
104 year old Sam Curry. Picture by FRANK REID
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A war veteran has celebrated reaching the astonishing age of 104 surrounded by family and friends.

Former Durham Light Infantryman Sam Curry, described as a “gentleman” by those who know him, marked the milestone at Bannatyne Lodge Care Home in Peterlee where he lives.

104 year old Sam Curry (centre) with members of his family at his birthday party Picture by FRANK REID

104 year old Sam Curry (centre) with members of his family at his birthday party Picture by FRANK REID

Great-great grandfather Mr Curry served in the Second World War, seeing action in France before returning to civilian life as a butcher when the conflict ended.

“My dad’s great for his age,” said daughter Margaret Fannan, 68.

“It’s great that we managed to get some of the Durham Light Infantry lads down to see him, which he was really pleased about.”

Coming from a family of butchers, with the Currys running a shop in Horden, Mr Curry went on with the tradition while also working at the Co-op slaughter house at Haswell.

104 year old Sam Curry (centre) with members of The Durham Light Infantry Association during his birthday party Picture by FRANK REID

104 year old Sam Curry (centre) with members of The Durham Light Infantry Association during his birthday party Picture by FRANK REID

He retired at 65 and lived independently until last year, when he moved into Bannatyne Lodge permanently.

Sadly, Mr Curry’s wife Dinah died seven years ago aged 95.

As well as Margaret he is dad to a son, also called Sam, 72, a grandad of four and great-grandad of four and a great-great grandad of one.

“He has been a lovely dad to me all of my life,” added Margaret.

104 year old Sam Curry with his daughter Margaret Fannan during his birthday party Picture by FRANK REID

104 year old Sam Curry with his daughter Margaret Fannan during his birthday party Picture by FRANK REID

“We’re just happy that he’s had such a good birthday and is still active in his life.

“The staff at Bannatyne Lodge have been brilliant too in making him feel welcome and looked after.

“They really are marvellous.”

Dawn Mintoe, of Bannatyne Lodge, said: “Sam is a really nice chap and such a gentleman. He’s a very funny man too and he’s always got us laughing.

“He still likes a game of dominoes and a drink at Peterlee Labour Club once in a while.

“He’s very sprightly for 104 and even manages to get about using his zimmer frame as well.”