Cricket fan to celebrate being 100 not out

Vice-Admiral Dennis Brown Harvey Wildish, who celebrates his 100th birthday on Christmas Eve. Picture by Claire Thorburn.
Vice-Admiral Dennis Brown Harvey Wildish, who celebrates his 100th birthday on Christmas Eve. Picture by Claire Thorburn.

He survived a Japanese torpedo attack north of Singapore which sunk the battleship HMS Prince of Wales during the Second World War.

Now, Vice-Admiral Dennis Brown Harvey Wildish has a magnum of Champagne chilling ready for his 100th-birthday celebrations on Christmas Eve.

And as he prepares to bring up his century, he admits he is looking forward to marking the special birthday with family and friends.

Vice-Admiral Wildish, who lives at Abbeyfield’s Armstrong House in Bamburgh, said: “I will be celebrating my lovely life – there is so much to be happy for.”

Having grown up in Kent, he joined the Royal Navy as a cadet aged 13 to follow in the footsteps of his father, Rear-Admiral Sir Henry Wildish, who earned his knighthood defeating German U-boats.

Vice-Admiral Wildish, whose war efforts earned him a mention in dispatches, moved to Northumberland to be closer to his daughter, Angela, after Lesley, his wife of 68 years, passed away.

A grandfather to Rosie and Caroline and great grandfather to Willa and Harry, he says the secret of his longevity is down to good behaviour, playing sport in his younger days and a drop of red wine.

He said: “Cricket was always my thing. I’m very lucky to be celebrating my century because I never quite made 100 on the cricket pitch.”