A SECOND World War veteran got a huge surprise when his home was given a special makeover for his 100th birthday.

War hero Wilfred Oldham's Radcliffe bungalow was redecorated after his family secretly got in touch with housing association, Six Town Housing, ahead of his centenary on August 28.

He said: “I am overwhelmed by this birthday gift, it’s the last thing I would have expected and I am eternally grateful and want to thank all concerned.”

Earlier this year Mr Oldham became the oldest person to be recognised in the Queen's New Year's Honours list when he was awarded an MBE for commemorations and UK/Dutch relations in the Diplomatic Service and Overseas.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic he was unable to formally receive his award from the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, and the ceremony has been indefinitely postponed.

When members of Six Town Housing's New Works section heard of this and Mr Oldham's birthday they decided to carry out the surprise restorations.

This week the team gave every room in his home a fresh lick of paint.

Rick Doyle, New Works site manager for Six Town Housing, said, “Wilfred has lived an extraordinary life and when we found out that he was disappointed not to have been awarded his MBE in person, we knew we had to do something special to mark his milestone birthday.”

During the Second World War Mr Oldham served in the Airbourne Division and saw action at the Battle of Arnhem as well as in Sicily, North Africa and Italy.

He served in the Airlanding Brigade until the end of the war before returning home to Radcliffe where he worked in the textile industry until his retirement.

Mr Oldham remains a proud member of Bolton Parachute Regimental Association and is planning to celebrate his birthday with its members and his family in a socially distanced get together at the Para Café in Bolton.