A 101-year-old World War II Royal Navy veteran was given a special surprise birthday visit to the aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales and HMNB Portsmouth today.
Roy Harland, one of the UK's oldest surviving servicemen, was given a VIP tour in and around the naval base to celebrate his 102nd birthday next month. The trip was facilitated by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) and members of the Royal Navy.
Roy, who lives in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, arrived with his two carers before being met my PO Wright from HMS Prince of Wales. From there, he was taken to visit the second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, and meet with some of the Ship's Company. Upon seeing the ship, Roy remarked: "It's a lot bigger than I was expecting."
The day continued with a look around Admiralty House and lunch at Spithead House with the Naval Base Commander, Cdre Jeremy Bailey. This was followed by a driving tour around the dockyard and a stop-off at the Warrant Officers and Senior Rates' Mess.
Bob Field, Engagement Manager at the RNRMC, said "This was a great example of partnership between the charity and the navy. By working closely together, we were able to facilitate this special visit at short notice. We hope Roy had a wonderful day and we wish him a happy birthday."
Roy served in the Royal Navy's Radar Branch during the war. He is one of the few surviving ships company from HMS King George V and was on board during the Bismark chase. He also served on HMS Malaya and was on board when the Ark Royal was hit. His has been awarded the following medals: 39-45 Star, Atlantic Star, War Medal 39-45, Arctic Star and Defence Medal.