97-year-old war hero makes surprise appearance at Biggin Hill’s Spitfire Cafe

PUBLISHED: 09:37 22 August 2016 | UPDATED: 09:03 23 August 2016

WW2 veteran Fergus Anckorn

WW2 veteran Fergus Anckorn


The WW2 soldier and prisoner of war moved fellow veterans with his tales of survival

A cafe in Biggin Hill was paid a visit by the famous WW2 Veteran Fergus Anckorn last Tuesday.

Owner Sally O’Connor and her husband opened the popular WW2-themed Spitfire Cafe three years ago, filling the eatery full of memorabilia including a bomb turned into a table and a life-size cut out of Sir Winston Churchill.

It was only fitting that the cafe’s anniversary under its new owners on Tuesday, 16 August welcomed 97-year-old war hero Fergus Anckorn, who is well known for his story of suffering as a soldier held captive in Singapore during the Second World War.

Recognised for his bravery after appearing on several television shows, Mr Anckorn only survived because he entertained his Japanese captors with magic tricks in return for food.

Mrs O’Connor said: “I met Fergus after a special VE Day celebration on the One Show last year, where we kept in contact and eventually he paid a visit to the cafe.

“Even after all what’s he’s been through, Fergus is a pure gentleman. He was even showing the children some of his magic tricks!”

Mr Anckorn met fellow WW2 veterans Bob Denwood, Frank Turner and John Wright where they later visited the RAF Chapel of Remembrance on Maid Road.

After developing a passion for the WW2 scene, the 49-year-old Spitfire Cafe owner holds a Veterans’ Breakfast Club every month.

Sally added: “If anyone can spend just five minutes with someone to hear the stories the ex-servicemen have to tell, it can make such a difference to their day.”

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