During the second global conflict, more than 170,000 British prisoners of war were taken by German and Italian forces.
Between 1940 and 1942, they were held in a network of prisoners’ camps stretching from Poland to Italy.
George Leslie Hall, born in Preston in 1919, was captured by German soldiers in 1942, in El Alamein, Egypt, where he was fighting with the Durham Light Infantry.
He spent three and a half years as a prisoner, held by the Nazis in prisoners’ camps around Europe, and ended up in Italy, where he was set free at the end of the war.
When asked what if feels like to be turning 100, George said: “I feel lucky, like a millionaire.”
After the war, George returned to Preston and married Peggy, with whom he had three children.
George had lost both his parents to TB when he was still in school, in 1932, and after the war he worked as a barber and as a bus driver in Preston until retirement.
He added: “It is very important to remember those who have given their lives for this country.”
Peggy and George had been married for more than 60 years when she died five years ago.
Norma King, George’s daughter, said: “We feel very blessed to have him for so long, and he is doing really well.
“He is very independent: I cook his dinner in the evenings, but he makes his own breakfast and sandwiches for lunch.
“He had such a wonderful time at the birthday party, surrounded by his family and friends.”
George’s five grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren joined the celebrations for his 100th birthday at Guardian Close retirement home in Fulwood.
After a century on this Earth, he said that the secret to a long life is happiness.