Second World War ambulance driver who was shot by a Russian after the war turns 100

FIVE generations of Alf Northwood’s family came together on Saturday to celebrate his 100th birthday.

Mr Northwood was born in Bow, London, on September 22, 1912, and to mark his special day, the keen gambler, who visits Huntingdon Ladbrookes most days, was given a �100 free bet by staff.

He was joined on his special day by his son Terry, three grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

His first jobs were carrying coal around the East End of the capital to sell during the winter, and during the summer he carted around fruit and vegetables.

In 1932, he married Lilian in Bow and three years later they had their only child, Terry.

Alf Northwood was called up to the army in the early stages of the Second World War and drove ambulances in the UK for wounded service personnel.

At the end of the war, Mr Northwood was transferred to Germany, and after the conflict ended he was shot in his knee by a displaced Russian and spent a year in hospital recovering.

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On his return to Britain, Mr Northwood had an spell as a welder before he joined BP in Aldgate as a lift attendant, a job that he did until he retired.

In 1996, Mr Northwood’s wife died, and a year later he moved to Windsor Court in Somersham.

In February 2010, Mr Northwood became one of the first residents of Park View homes, in Ambury Road, Huntingdon, where he held his family gettogether.

“I didn’t think I’d get this far,” he told The Hunts Post, “I thought I’d reach my end before September 22.

“I used to smoke when I was in the army but I never used to drink, just shandies, that’s the reason why I have lasted – that and women, they’re a lot of fun.”

Terry said: “To think he’s got to 100 when he has been shot and his movement is limited in terrific.

“Fortunately he’s never been seriously ill and he’s still in good health,

“He visits the bookies most days, and places a number of 10 and 20p bets on horses. He never spends more than �5, but Ladbrokes gave him �100 and BP also gave him a �100 voucher.”