Second World War veteran marks 109th birthday in Saanich

Second World War veteran marks 109th birthday in Saanich
Albert Middleton celebrated his 109th birthday on March 11, 2024.

On Monday, a Second World War veteran made good on his promise to “see you all next year,” marking his 109th birthday.

Albert Middleton joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1943 and served overseas during the Second World War.

“He wasn’t on the frontlines fighting or anything, but actually, his job was to hand out cigarettes at the canteen to the soldiers who smoked,” Darlene Van Raay, Middleton’s daughter told CHEK News.

He was born in England with three siblings, then he was sent to Canada when he was a young teen as a “war orphan.”

After the war, he bought a 65-acre (26-hectare) hobby farm and worked in factories in Ontario. While working full time, he operated his farm and had livestock including pigs and cows.

Middleton was married and widowed twice and has three children.

“He has children and great-grandchildren,” Van Raay said.

Despite his job during the Second World War, Van Raay says she believes the secret to her dad’s longevity was some of his healthy habits.

“He exercised, he was always active throughout his years and fixing things,” Van Raay said. “I know he would tell you ‘Don’t smoke, that’s a bad habit.'”

Van Raay remembers her father as a hard worker and someone with strong values.

“Things are black and white, it was either right or it was wrong,” she said. “But if you were in trouble, you wanted to have him on your side.”

Middleton now lives at Veterans Memorial Lodge (a Broadmead Care Home), which says that Middleton is one of the oldest Second World War veterans alive in Canada.

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