A SECOND WORLD WAR hero became the newest Llandudno centenarian earlier this week.

On April 6, Squadron Leader Walter 'Robbie' Roberts, who served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) for nearly forty years of his life, turned one hundred years old.

Many of the 124 men listed on the promenade war memorial in Llandudno were Mr Roberts' contemporaries, including three of his school friends, who joined the Royal Air Force around the same time as him in 1936.

Mr Roberts attended Lloyd Street and John Bright Grammar Schools before joining the RAF, apprenticing at Halton, Bucks.

His father George (known as Spider), served with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in Mesopotamia during the First Wold War. Mr Roberts himself served throughout the Second World War as an engineering officer.

At the outbreak of that war, he was posted as a fitter to 102 squadron, equipped with Whitleys at RAF Great Driffield.

He then became attached to the new experimental PRU (Photographic Reconnaissance Unit), converting Spitfires for reconnaissance duties at RAF Benson. They were tasked with developing new methods of obtaining photographic intelligence from over enemy territory.

Mr Roberts was then commissioned as an officer in 1943 and later in the war served in the Mediterranean and north Africa.

Post war, he was appointed as Senior Engineering Officer with XV Squadron working on the famous Victor bombers and served across the world including the Far East with postings to Singapore and Labuan.

He retired in 1975, having served overseas in the Middle East, Malta, Egypt and Singapore.

Adrian Hughes from the Home Front Museum paid tribute to to Mr Roberts on his birthday, saying: "Chatting to Walter about ‘old’ Llandudno has always been a pleasure, and he often recounts tales of times past including how as a boy he would ‘scrump’ grapes from the vines that grew in the little market garden on Gloddaeth Street where the now demolished Odeon Theatre was sited.

"Personally, I cannot thank Mr Roberts enough for his help while researching the Llandudno men who died during the Second World War. Happy Birthday Sir, and apologies we can not celebrate at this time."