Veteran celebrates his 104th birthday

William Wight

William Wight

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A SECOND World War veteran with a love of country and western music has celebrated his 104th birthday.

William Wight was born on June 3, 1910 in Jane Street, Leith, and is the middle child in a family of five.

He is the last surviving sibling and had one elder brother and sister, and one younger brother and sister.

He marked his birthday with a family lunch in the Trattoria Russo, the restaurant of the Persevere Pub, on Sunday, June 1.

There were more celebrations on Saturday at Leith’s Gordon Court when Mr Wight enjoyed a birthday cake and a drink.

He met his wife Elizabeth (Betty) Moffat, also of Leith, at the Marine Ballroom in Seafield Road.

They were married in December 1938 at South Leith Parish Church when she was 20 and he was 28.

His wife died in September 1987, leaving Mr Wight as a widower for the past 27 years.

They had two children – Diane, who was born in March 1940, and Bryan, who was born in October 1945.

Mr Wight has three grandchildren – David, 51, Neill, 37, and Shona, 29 – and four great grandchildren.

He left school when he was 14, working alongside his father, Fleming Howden, at a bakery suppliers and manufacturers.

Mr Wight worked as a sugar preserver, and was based at Murano Place, off Albert Street in Leith, for 40 years.

When the business moved to Newbridge, he then went to the Army Headquarters at Craigiehall, Barnton, and worked there as a storekeeper for 12 years until he retired in 1976.

During the Second World War, he was called up and served from 1941 until 1947 in England and in Germany.

From 1938 until 2003, he lived at Rodney Street in Bonnington, and has lived at Gordon Court since 2003.

Mr Wight is a great lover of country and western music. Another of his hobbies was playing golf when he was in his 20s. Before he settled into married life, he also used to enjoy camping with friends in East Lothian and in Germany.

At the age of 88, he spent three weeks in California with his daughter and family friends.

And when he was 99, he visited Loos cemetery in Northern France with his son, daughter and daughter-in-law.

It was there that his uncle, John Wight, was killed in battle at the age of 39, and buried in an unmarked grave, although his name appeared on the regiment’s wall plaque.

When Mr Wight retired he helped look after his daughter’s garden and walked her dog, and was still making sure the lawn was in tip-top shape when he was 91.

On this 100th birthday, he received the customary birthday card from the Queen before enjoying a party with friends, family, and fellow residents of Gordon Court in the Gordon Court Lounge.