World War II pilot and D-day veteran Harry Gamper celebrates his 102nd Birthday in style at Renaissance Care’s Malin Court Care Home

Harry Gamper, born in 1920, celebrates his 102nd birthday at Renaissance Care’s Malin Court Care Home in Ayrshire this week complete with cocktails and visits from his son who flew in from Canada, and his nephew who travelled from Cornwall for the occasion.

Staff and fellow residents pulled out all the stops to celebrate with Harry who despite party plans in place, was unable to celebrate his landmark 100th birthday in 2020 with family due to the pandemic. Now with restrictions reduced, Harry was joined by his son and friends in the Ayrshire home for an Italian-themed lunch and garden party complete with cocktails, nibbles and live entertainment from a local performer.

Gamper, originally from Surrey, served as an RAF pilot in World War II, winning medals for his service in France and Germany including a Battle of Atlantic medal. During his time in the RAF, Harry completed over 1000 hours of flying time, taking the reins of Warwicks, Wellingtons and Catalina flying boats.

Harry even took to the skies on D-day, previously remembering: “It was incredible, I’ll never forget it. For a whole week before D-Day, nobody was allowed off the aerodrome. So, something big was going to happen.

“The Channel was extraordinary – I think you could have almost walked across the Channel because every boat was going across it.”

Harry left the RAF in 1946, going on to marry and have two sons, David and Andrew. He also retrained in advertising holding positions within Unilever, The Morgan Group and disability charity SCOPE before retiring with his wife to Dorset in 1983. During his time working in advertising, Harry was able to travel extensively, most notably working in Nigeria, Ghana, and Sierra Leone for many years.  

Harry moved to a cottage in the village of Straiton, Ayrshire in the late 2000s. The move allowed for his love of the outdoors and gardening to flourish, quickly falling in love with the conservation village’s natural charms and enjoying his close proximity to the seaside.

Since moving into Renaissance Care’s Malin Court in Girvan, Harry has been loving life, enjoying brilliant relationships with staff and fellow residents and he has been looking forward to finally celebrate his special day with his nearest and dearest, including his beloved son David who flew all the way from Montreal, Canada to be reunited with his father and bring in the happy day together.

At Harry’s request, his birthday was celebrated with an Italian-themed lunch, as a reminder of the many happy holidays spent in the country with his late wife Annalisa, he said:

“Life is beautiful, and I’ve always lived it to the full. I love art, music, good food and the finest wine – all of these things, and the people around you are what matter most in life.

“The staff at Renaissance Care Malin Court leave no stone unturned, especially when it comes to a party. I look forward to my Italian feast and maybe a sing-a-long to some traditional Italian music.”

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