100 and flying high: A life enjoyed in the air

100 and flying high

A life enjoyed in the air


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Parsley Box meals are enjoyed by a host of fascinating individuals who have led experience-rich lives and have poignant and moving stories to tell.

We launched the Parsley Box Magazine to showcase these incredible true life stories, so that others can enjoy and learn from them.

In June one of our most valued customers, Charles celebrated his 100th birthday.

We got in touch with Charles to learn more about his incredible life and career.


Charles was in the Royal Air Force for 19 years between 1937 and 1956. He says that even as a young boy he was infatuated with flying.

I loved it, I always did. I would collect model airplanes and toy airplanes, the lot. Flying was all I ever wanted to do.

And fly he did when he joined the RAF at just 16 years old.

Charles continued in the RAF for 19 years, serving throughout WW2. Among other things he was tasked with being a pilot trainer and says he enjoyed nothing more than teaching others how to fly.

With the Air Force Charles would be sent all over the world, listing South Africa, Libya, Egypt, India and Burma as among the many countries he has been stationed at.

Charles reveals that he would routinely fly ‘Hurricanes, Spitfires, 47 Thunderbolts, Tiger Moths’. ‘You name it, I’ve flown it’ he says proudly.

During his time with the RAF Charles would be introduced to a rather special lady named Dorothy.

charles RAF fly
Charles during his RAF days.

We met when I was in the Air Force earlier on and a friend of mine was going to a dance and said ‘would you like to come?’ And I said ‘well I haven’t got a partner; and he said ‘well I’ll soon find you one’. And he did.

And the rest, as they say was history.

Charles and Dorothy would go on to have one son, Godfrey who brought untold joy into their lives.

Dorothy and Charles

After retiring from the RAF in 1956, Charles began his career as an Air Traffic Controller at Birmingham Airport. 

Being an Air Traffic Controller is a notoriously complicated and mentally taxing job. Charles remembers how they would work shifts of one hour on, one hour off in order to properly rest their mental faculties and ensure they were able to concentrate on the fast-paced and critically important job at hand.

From Birmingham Airport, Charles would make his way around the country working at Manchester Airport among others, before eventually retiring in 1981 whilst employed at Bournemouth Airport.

Dorothy and he decided to enjoy their retirement in Cheshire; according to Charles ’a truly beautiful part of the country’.

Charles and Dorothy were married for 58 wonderful years before Dorothy sadly passed away in 2004.

When asked how he fills his time nowadays, Charles says his most enjoyable pastime is ‘to laze’. He likes to eat, drink and be merry, spending time with his family when he can.

And at 100 years old and with a life well lived, he deserves nothing less.

Charles on his 100th birthday

Charles’ story and images shared with permission.

It has been our absolute pleasure to hear and share Charles’ story.

If you have a story to share and would like to be featured in our magazine, please get in touch.