A World War Two forces hero rolled back the years with a forties themed surprise party with family and friends. Gunner Stan Bunby, who served with the Royal Artillery in Malta and Egypt during the conflict, was treated to the nostalgic celebration with more than 100 guests packing into Thorne’s Punchbowl Inn to help him toast his big day.
Mr Bunby, 96, proudly sported his medals as he mingled with fellow ex-servicemen at the party which included wartime songs from forties singer Paula Marie - as well as a few numbers from the man himself - before slicing into a specially designed regimental cake designed especially for the day by Suzanne Beggs.
Mr Bunby, of Bellwood Crescent, Thorne, was visibly moved as he arrived at the pub for the party where he was greeted by Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire David Moody.
He said: “I am so happy that they did all this for me. It has come as a total shock because I wasn’t expecting any of this.
“I am pleased to see so many people here - it is such a big surprise.”
Great niece Karaline Reed and family friend Michelle Holden threw themselves into organising the bash, with many guests sporting forties style outfifts including army unfiforms, Land Girl outfits and hairstyles from the era.
The room was also decked out in red, white and blue Union jacks, flags of Malta, where Mr Bunby served, and also nostalgic reminders of the era such as ration books as well as forties music. Karaline said: “It is wonderful to see so many friends and family here for Stan. He has had an absolutely lovely time and we are so pleased so many people came out to celebrate with him.”
Coun Martin Williams, who also helped organise the event, said: “Stan’s the man. War veterans like him are thin on the ground and we need to celebrate their efforts.”