Wimbledon Common Golf Club president Jack Miles turns 100 and reveals secrets of long life
A World War II veteran who survived a grenade explosion has turned 100 – and is still playing a round of golf every week.
Jack Miles turned 100 on March 10 and has had three celebrations with family and friends, including a party at the Wimbledon Common Golf Club where he is president, on Saturday.
Mr Miles, who lived in Merton for 40 years before moving to Kingston, was joined by club members and MP Stephen Hammond who congratulated him on his centenary.
The keen golfer joined the club in 1947, has been president since 1995 and still plays a four-hole round every Wednesday.
His secret to a long life – he didn’t “drink, smoke or go with women” until he was 13 – after which it was “all downhill”.
A father of four sons, 20 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren, Mr Miles married in Tooting in 1932 and moved to Colliers Wood where the couple first lived in a one-bed flat with a gas stove.
Years later he joined the British Army.
He said: “I spent three years knocking the stuffing out of Hitler as a foot soldier.
“In 1940 I got blown up in a grenade explosion.
“I had a long stay in hospital – that was in Worcester in 1942.
“The explosion smashed my ear drums and shrapnel penetrated my face, and I’m much better looking now of course.”
After the war Mr Miles worked building prefabs before becoming a building surveyor in 1948 until his retirement.
One of his great-grandchildren, Kelly Archer, 31, said: “He’s amazing, really kind and caring and a considerate family man.
“He’s still very active and it is absolutely amazing and inspirational.”