It’s not everyday you have the honour of meeting a Second World War veteran and get to find out about a ‘life well lived’.

That meeting becomes even more spectacular if the said veteran happens to be celebrating their 100th Birthday at a very special gathering of family, friends and RAF/RAFA personnel. I took the opportunity to find out a little more about a very distinguished man.

Victor Bolton was born during the First World War and, like so many, was called up to join the RAF in the Second World War. Victor trained as an Engine Fitter and was posted to 111 Maintenance Unit, RAF Tura, near Cairo in Egypt.

There he spent the next 3 years working on Allison, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce aircraft engines. He reminisced there was little opportunity for UK leave so during one period of local leave Victor took the chance to board a train to Palestine and watch the very important Easter procession in Jerusalem. After this 3 year long tour Victor returned to the UK and enjoyed some well earned leave before being sent to RAF Calshot in Southampton. This Unit was responsible for scheduled maintenance on

Short Sunderland Flying Boats, these were Victor’s favourite aircraft to fly in, although, he told me he still found the Spitfire a most impressive plane to look at. Victor loved working on the Sunderlands and it was there he would stay until the end of the War. After the War Victor was demobbed and returned to administration roles within the offices of a County Council. Here he was to be encouraged to study for law exams, which he passed and eventually became a Barrister. Victor remained in the legal profession until he retired in 1980.

At the Birthday Celebrations Victor was delighted to be presented with an RAF Waddington print, signed by the Station Commander and a birthday cake from the Waddington RAFA branch.

It was an honour to meet Victor and hear about his time in the RAF. Many thanks to the Waddington RAFA Branch who arranged for there to be a strong RAF presence at the event and Station Photographer, Sgt Mike Jones, for capturing the memories of a special day.

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