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War hero gets hundreds of 100th birthday cards thanks to sister titles

A centenarian war hero was inundated with hundreds of 100th birthday cards following a regional press appeal.

The Wigan Observer launched a front page appeal earlier this month to help Harry Melling, who was due to turn 100 on 18 April while in self-isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Melling, Britain’s oldest living submariner from the Second World War, received more than 650 cards from around the world including Australia and Canada as a result.

Local businesses joined in with the celebrations, Heinz and Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls in particularly surprised Harry with gifts.

Wigan Harry

The Royal Marines band also stood in formation and sang Happy Birthday for him.

The campaign’s success provided a splash for the Observer’s JPIMedia sister daily the Wigan Post on Saturday, pictured above

Editor Janet Wilson said: “In these dark times, this was a lovely story which had a happy ending thanks to the generosity of the public.”

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