Age was just a number for centenarian Derek Parsons when he celebrated his 100th birthday at Castle View care home in Dorchester.

Great-grandfather Derek said he didn’t feel one hundred before sharing a birthday cake with family members and fellow residents at the Colten Care home at Poundbury.

Derek, who served as a major in Royal Artillery during the Second World War, said: “I feel no different to 99.

“In fact I feel somewhat younger and I imagine it is all in the genes. I used to walk along the cliff tops at Burton Bradstock daily so that may have helped.

“It is wonderful to turn one hundred and I have had a terrific time.”

Derek, whose late wife’s name was Valerie, has three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

He was joined by son Anthony Parsons, daughter Jane Steenbuch and son-in-law Frederick for the celebration at Castle View.

More than 40 family and friends also attended a party a few days earlier at the nearby Brownsword Hall in Poundbury when Derek’s many cards were on show – including one from the Queen.

Guests included granddaughters Sarah Parsons, Karoline Steenbuch and great-grandchildren Daniel, Therese and Amalie Steenbuch. Jane, Frederick and the Steenbuch family came from Oslo in Norway for Derek’s birthday.

Derek grew up in Leicester before joining the Royal Artillery’s 2nd Survey Regiment. He served in India and Burma where he saw action at the Battle of Imphal and Kohima in 1944, one of the turning points of the war with Japan in the east.

Following the war he worked his way up to become a director at the Bowater Paper Corporation and lived with wife Valerie and their family in Surrey before retiring to Burton Bradstock, near Bridport, in 1980.

Derek was former treasurer of the church in Burton Bradstock and is life president of the National Trust’s Golden Cap Association.

Castle View manager Ashika Reddy said: “Congratulations to Derek on reaching his 100th birthday.

“It was wonderful to celebrate with him and his family. He is a popular member of our community, and we hope to see him enjoy many more birthdays here.”