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Double celebration for 90 year old who once captured a German U-boat
A great grandfather from Abbots Langley who fought in World War II said the trick to reaching 90 was to "eat well and stay fit".
Sid Howlett celebrated his birthday on March 22 with a party at the Hunton Lodge, with around 50 friends and family in attendance.
The 90-year-old said: "I’ve had quite a life. It was great to get together with friends and family to celebrate my birthday."
Mr Howlett, who was born in North Watford, joined the navy for the war effort in 1941. He was on HMS Grindall, the crew that helped capture a U-boat from the Germans.
Mr Howlett said: "I joined the navy when I was barely 17. It was an amazing experience especially having to escort the German U-boat into Liverpool. That is something I have never forgotten."
Mr Howlett left the navy after six years and married his childhood sweetheart Dorothy. They had been in the same class together at school, and they went on to have a daughter, Lisa, two grandchildren, Simon and Amanda, and three great grandchildren.
Mr Howlett continued: "Oh, our wedding was just lovely. Me and Dorothy had some great years together, including being invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace because we married in the same year as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip."
After the navy, Mr Howlett started working at Penfold Fencing on Balmoral Road, where he stayed until his retirement. Since then he has continued to volunteer at various projects saying it was "important to give back".
The 90-year-old continued: "I have been keeping busy since my retirement. I have always played in local football teams, and have played darts for the county.
"I have not stopped. People don’t believe me when I say I’m 90. I still drive, live on my own and go on holiday with friends. I am very fortunate.
"I am blessed to have brilliant family and friends."
Mr Howlett, who lives in St Lawrence Close, has been a Watford FC fan for most of his life. He was sent a book of the clubs history and players autograph to celebrate his birthday.
He said: "I haven’t stopped looking at the book. It feels great to have got it. Not only that, at the game on Tuesday they said my name on the tannoy and wished me a happy birthday.
"That was a fantastic moment, it felt great to be recognised. I have followed the team since I was a little boy. I went to the play-offs at Wembley and have had a season ticket for donkeys years. I even have my name on one of the bricks under the stand.
"I still love going down to the games and seeing regular faces."
Mr Howlett is looking forward to this weekend, when he will host a second birthday party in Abbots Langley.
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