Surrounded by three generations of his family, Stanley Ashby from Stevenage has celebrated his 100th birthday.

Stanley was born in London on June 14, 1923 and, after leaving school, trained as a toolmaker.

When World War II broke out, Stanley enlisted in the RAF using his special skills to become an aircraft technician working on radial engines.

He was transferred to the 25th Dragoons - an armoured unit sent to India to prepare for the invasion of Japan - and quickly moved up through the ranks, becoming a tank commander. He stayed in India after the war to help oversee the partition.


During the few visits home, he married his childhood sweetheart, Viola, and their first child was born in 1945. It was nearly three years before he saw his son again.

On returning to the UK, Stanley resumed his engineering profession and in 1955 he joined English Electric - now BAE - in Stevenage, moving to Brook Drive with Viola and their family of three children.

His main interest throughout his life has been the happiness of his wife and family. He has always greeted his new grandchildren and great grandchildren with deep affection and they know from an early age that they have joined a loving family. Happy Birthday Stanley!