A World War Two veteran was presented with the Legion d’Honneur – the highest order of France – as he marked his 100th birthday alongside serving troops today WRITES PAUL THOMAS

Soldiers from the Household Cavalry, based at Combermere Barracks in Windsor, put on a surprise party to honour Alf Lawes, of Langley, who served with the Royal Horse Guards from 1939 to 1946.

Mr Lawes, who served as a mounted soldier and also as a driver, was presented with the prestigious medal by Field Marshal The Lord Guthrie, The Colonel of Life Guards at Combermere Barracks.

In front of a packed room of family, fellow veterans and serving soldiers, Mr Lawes, said: “I was expecting all this fuss.”

When asked what it’s like to reach 100-years-old humble veteran added: “Nothing changes, I get up each day and carry on”.

After being presented with the medal Mr Lawes was pictured with a Dingo vehicle on the base, the same type that he drove when on duty in World War Two.

The special day was organised by serving Household Cavalry Troops who have a close relationship with Mr Lawes and his family.

Staff Corporal Matt McGuire and Staff Corporal Todd Martin both from the Household Cavalry pay regular visits to the centenarian.

SCpl McGuire said: “We go in to check he’s ok, to give him cake and to hear his stories.

“He doesn’t talk much about his time in the war – he’s more interested in when he was training and being with the lads in barracks.

“He does tell us that he was the first man into to Brussels when it was liberated though, after he took a wrong turn in his vehicle!”