SPENDING five years as a prisoner of war, Harry Bayne wondered if each day would be his last.
Yesterday he celebrated his 100th birthday surrounded by family and admitted he couldn’t quite believe his luck.
He and his comrades from the Black Watch 1st Battalion were captured by General Erwin Rommel at St Valery in France two days before Dunkirk, and Harry said he thought he was a goner several times.
He puts his long life down to living the right way – and a little bit of luck.
“It’s just like Pandora’s box – the only thing left was hope, and I have lived my life believing in that,” said great-grandfather Harry. “I also believe in justice, equality, trust and truth.”
Harry, who was 20 when the Second World War broke out in 1939, was sent to work on a Polish farm that provided food for German soldiers. He said his life was saved by a Prussian girl, Elena, who gave him three raw eggs every day, which he ate with milk and sugar.
When Soviet troops advanced into Poland by early 1945, the PoWs were moved.
“I spent weeks walking on barefoot. I really thought that was going to be the end. I certainly didn’t think I would see 100.”
But the group knew they would be saved when American forces, led by General Dwight Eisenhower, intercepted their long walk.
After the war, Harry returned to Crail, in Fife, where he was a plasterer and married Christina.
Now a great-great grandfather, Harry, from Leven, moved into the Erskine Glasgow home a year ago and it was there he received his card from The Queen yesterday.
Glasgow’s Lord Provost Eva Bolander presented Harry with flowers and a special bottle of single malt whisky.
“I don’t touch a drink,” Harry laughed. “I tried it once for Robert Burns’ birthday and that was it.
“Erskine is my home now, so I’ll maybe auction it to raise some money for the charity.”