AS he celebrates his 95th birthday, D-Day veteran Ken Parfit has spoken of his experiences during the Second World War.

Ken, from Dursley, received cards and presents and enjoyed a special lunch with his family to mark the milestone birthday, and he said there was no special secret to a long and happy life – he’s just been very lucky.

Ken joined the Dereham Home Guard at the age of 16 and a half. Members of this real life ‘Dad’s Army’ tended to be men above or below the age of conscription and those unfit for service.

“I was by far the youngest and greenest as most of the others were soldiers from the Great War,” said Ken.

“I laugh to this day at the Dad’s Army TV series and can see myself as the clumsy youngster, Pike.”

Ken quickly went on to join the Air Training Corps, followed by the RAF, where he stayed for 36 years.

During World War Two, he became the navigator of a Pathfinder target-marking squadron in Bomber Command.

In 2015, he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur, the highest decoration in France, in recognition of the part he played in D-Day, the allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.

When Ken and his colleagues heard of Germany’s surrender on May 5, 1945, they started dancing the conga.

Two days later the squadron took part in Operation Exodus, flying British ex-prisoners of war, who had been released by the Allies from camps throughout Germany, back to the UK.

Ken met his wife to be, Margaret, on a train. He asked to borrow the trainee nurse’s newspaper, the pair got talking and that was that. They married in 1947, when rationing was still in place.

Margaret’s neighbours and friends gave up their butter, sugar and dried fruit rations for the couple’s wedding cake.

Once married, the couple had four children - Sally, Wendy, Jill and Tim, and now nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild - and lived all over the world, with Ken stationed in Aden, Cyprus, Kenya and Turkey.

His last job was in Saudi Arabia, helping to train the country’s air force.

When he left the post, he drove home, across the desert and beyond, in his new Honda Accord.

Since retiring, Ken said he and Margaret 'have been delighted to watch our family increase in number'.