War veteran who survived serious mobility scooter accident celebrates 99th birthday in Bognor

Michael Hordern flew a spitfire in WW2. Picture contributed
Michael Hordern flew a spitfire in WW2. Picture contributed

A war veteran has celebrated his 99th birthday in Bognor, just five months after he was airlifted to hospital following a serious accident on his mobility scooter.

Michael Hordern, a Lieutenant Commander in the Fleet Air Arm during World War Two, suffered head and leg injuries after his mobility scooter collided with a car in Middleton in April.

Michael Hordern celebrates his 99th birthday. Picture contributed

Michael Hordern celebrates his 99th birthday. Picture contributed

However, after making a recovery which has left his family ‘amazed’, Michael celebrated reaching 99 at his daughter’s house in Felpham on Saturday September 15 and his granddaughter Emma Darke said the ‘remarkable’ man is already back on a new scooter.

She added: “(After the accident) Michael was sent via helicopter to Brighton hospital where he underwent surgery to his leg.

“His recovery, albeit slow, has amazed his entire family and he is now back at home, living independently once again. He is even back on a new scooter.

“Nothing will stop this man from getting on with his life to the fullest.

Michael Hordern was Lieutenant Commander in the fleet air arm. Picture contributed

Michael Hordern was Lieutenant Commander in the fleet air arm. Picture contributed

“He is a remarkable man, adored and respected not only by all his family, but by everyone who is fortunate enough to meet him.”

Emma said his birthday celebrations were fitting to a ‘role model, true gentleman and family man’, who is ‘lovingly known as Mike, grandpop, or super G’.

Emma’s partner William Fawcett described the ‘much loved’ Michael, who is the cousin of late actor Sir Michael Hordern, as an ‘utterly charming, completely articulate, old fashioned English Gentlemen’.

Speaking to the Observer in April before his accident, and reflecting on his past as a Royal Naval Officer, Michael said: “I don’t feel like a hero, which is what people called me for being a survivor.

“Although, I suppose, I’m still here to talk about those past days, which historically were very eventful.”

Read our interview with Michael from April about his life and time in the war here.

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