Sheffield sailor who fought Nazis in WWII thrown special 100th birthday bash

Tommy at his 100th birthday bash and the Navy man in his younger days
Tommy at his 100th birthday bash and the Navy man in his younger days
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A stalwart of the sea who fought Nazis in the bitter cold during World War Two has celebrated his 100th birthday.

Centenarian Lieutenant Thomas Alfred Dickinson, more commonly known as Tommy to friends and family, was thrown a special party in his home of Stocksbridge.

Tommy thought it was just another branch meeting but was surprised to see the occasion was all for him

Tommy thought it was just another branch meeting but was surprised to see the occasion was all for him

A complete surprise, Tommy was greeted by fellow members of the Royal Naval Association and was presented with gifts by Stocksbridge Town Council Mayor, Keith Davis.

The 100-year-old was expecting to attend their usual Wednesday meeting but members instead threw a party.

Tommy was modest about reaching the milestone saying it was 'nothing out of the ordinary'.

But when asked what the secret is to reaching three figures, Tommy declared: "That's easy, Navy rum!

Tommy alongside his branch pals who turned out for his birthday

Tommy alongside his branch pals who turned out for his birthday

"The day was marvellous. I had such a good time seeing that people had come out for me - it was a really tip-top day."

The war veteran served in the Royal Navy from 1936 to 1978 and during his latter years he was a careers officer.

Tommy also served tours on the first three HMS Sheffield's.

He was presented with the Russian Convoy Medal in 2014 for his courage and bravery around 70 years after his service in the Arctic Convoys during World War Two.

In 2012, the Russian Embassy informed survivors that they will be awarded with the medal as a symbol of the country's gratitude.

During the convoys, around 1,400 merchant ships delivered essential supplies to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease program, escorted by ships of the allied navy.

The convoys were under constant threat of attack by German U-boats and aircraft and by May 1945, the Arctic route had claimed 104 merchant and 16 military vessels. Thousands of Allied seamen lost their lives.

The convoys demonstrated the Allies commitment to helping the Soviet Union, prior to the opening of a Second Front, and tied up a substantial part of Germany's Navy and Air Force.

Damien Wheeler branch treasurer of the Royal Navy Association said: "Well, what can you say about Tommy, he's a brilliant bloke.

"He's kind, courteous and being in the Navy, he's also very old school."