A 100-YEAR-old former serviceman who had a surprise visit from crisp maker, Tyrrells, has passed away.

James Hugh Gascoyne, known as Hugh, from Credenhill died on February 12. His thanksgiving service is tomorrow.

Mr Gascoyne turned 100 on July 4 last year and his picture was in the Hereford Times last December.

His daughter, Lynda Clifton, had taken a photo of her dad enjoying a cup of tea and a packet of Tyrrells crisps just after his 100th birthday and had sent it to Tyrrells, based near Leominster.

Members of staff then visited Mr Gascoyne at Christmas and gave him a big packet with lots of smaller packets inside of the different flavours of crisps.

He was born in Norfolk and joined the RAF at the age of 18.

Mr Gascoyne was with the RAF until his retirement: 28 years in uniform and 19 as a civilian instructor.

He came to RAF Hereford (Credenhill) first of all in the 1950s, before moving to Germany with the RAF for three years and then returning to England, settling for a while at RAF Hemswell in Lincolnshire. In 1965 the family moved to Credenhill where he worked as an RAF civilian instructor, until his retirement in 1981. He married, Mary, in 1946 near Blackpool. They had three children, Phillip, John and Lynda.

His daughter, Lynda Clifton said: "They were both stationed at RAF Kirkham after the war, when dad came back from serving with No 55 Squadron during the Second World War in Iraq.

"It was love at first sight, as dad would always say: 'Cupid scored a direct hit.' My mother died in 2005, they nearly made 60 years together."

The couple ran many successful Sunday Schools, in various places and churches, wherever they lived.

He had four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Mr Gascoyne always enjoyed keeping fit, cycling from boyhood days around the flat countryside in Norfolk and in later years, walking up Credenhill and through the village, right up until the age of 95.

Mrs Clifton said: "A funny story was shared recently by a friend of dad's, who remembers him (in his early 90s) being called to the front at a Feast on Friday occasion (meal for over 60s), where he led the group before the meal with some keep fit exercises. He was rebuking those who were 20 years younger than him for not putting enough effort into their exercise."

Mrs Clifton thanked St Michaels Hospice for their support in his final months.

She added: "His life was full of fun, faith and fitness. He was one of a kind, who brought so much joy to his family and friends. He will be much missed by all his family - but earth's loss is certainly heaven's gain!"

His thanksgiving service will be held on tomorrow (February 25 2017) at Hope City Church at 1.30pm. Donations welcome to St Michael's Hospice (Hospice at Home).