A war veteran has celebrated his 100th birthday.

Jack Crisp, from Mitcham, officially became a centenarian today, but celebrated on Monday at a party hosted by the Merton Seniors forum, of which Mr Crisp is a member, attended by 60 people.

He said: "I’m terribly surprised how many people want to know me.

"I had another party two days before with the Croydon Ramblers where I was a member for years - I used to lead walks for them.

"It’s no good sitting on my backside looking at four walls and I try to keep myself active."

On living a long and healthy life Mr Crisp said: "You just keep breathing when everyone else stops.

"It’s no good moaning and groaning.

"No one wants to listen to you so make the most of it."

After his father was killed in action during world war one, Mr Crisp and his four brothers were sent to live at an orphanage in Twickenham until the age of 15 when he was taken in by his grandmother.

From there he landed a job as a messenger boy at London Transport and later served four years with the British Army when he was posted to Cairo and Baghdad.

On his return he met his wife and enjoyed a 35 year marriage which gave him two sons and three grandchildren.

He said: "My philosophy for life is to be good to other people.

"If you help one another life goes on sweetly.

"And for heaven’s sake if you are a man make the most of you wife."