Veteran code breaker to celebrate 100th birthday in Marlborough

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: War vet Harry Beckhough is also believed to be the Tory party's longest serving member War vet Harry Beckhough is also believed to be the Tory party's longest serving member

Wartime code breaker Harry Beckhough will be celebrating his 100th birthday at Marlborough Conservative Club on Saturday, a very appropriate venue because he is believed to be the party’s longest serving member.

Widower Mr Beckhough, who lives in Castle Court retirement apartments in Marlborough, is not only the Conservatives’ oldest member having joined at 15 but also its oldest worker because he attends the Devizes Constituency Conservative Association’s offices in Marlborough every day to help with the administration.

The Bristol-born centenarian went to the same grammar school as actor Cary Grant and the four languages he took at Higher School Certificate – including French, German and Greek – resulted in him being asked to join Bletchley Park’s team of code breakers.

In 2010 he was awarded the MBE for his services to politics and the same year he was shocked to be singled out at the Conservatives annual conference by Prime Minister David Cameron who said: “I tell you something, this is a party for all generations. Harry, without people like you we would not be here and our party would not be in government.”

Guests at Saturday’s party will include the Devizes MP Claire Perry.

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