News, Culture & Society

WWII veteran turns 100 thanks to his daily 90-minute workout

A World War II veteran celebrated his 100th birthday with his daily trip to the gym, which he credits for his long life.

Retired army major John Hamilton, who was evacuated from Dunkirk, pumps iron every day for about 90 minutes to stay in shape despite his age.

The great-grandfather, who smashed a rowing world record five years ago, is in remarkable shape and believes his health is improving.

World War II veteran John Hamilton celebrated his 100th birthday with his daily trip to the gym, which he credits for his long life

John Hamilton pictured in Arab Legion military uniform in 1954

John Hamilton as Brutus in Julius Caesar in 1955

The retired army major, who was evacuated from Dunkirk, pumps iron every day for 90 minutes despite his age (pictured in uniform and playing Julius Caesar in 1950s)

He arrives at his local gym at 8am every weekday and puts himself through a gruelling routine that would leave many men half his age gasping.

A typical session sees him push his limits with 20 minutes on an exercise bike, 15 on the treadmill, and then 400 stomach crunches.

He drinks a glass of wine every other night and only gave up smoking his an ounce of tobacco a week from his pipe six months ago.

Major Hamilton, who had a knee replacement aged 93, still drives his VW Polo into town every day after renewing his licence this month.

The spry gentleman looks at least 20 years younger than his age and expects to live for at least another 10 years.

The great-grandfather, who smashed a rowing world record five years ago, is in remarkable shape and believes his health is improving

The great-grandfather, who smashed a rowing world record five years ago, is in remarkable shape and believes his health is improving

He arrives at his local gym at 8am every weekday and puts himself through a gruelling routine that would leave many men half his age gasping

He arrives at his local gym at 8am every weekday and puts himself through a gruelling routine that would leave many men half his age gasping

A typical session sees him push his limits with 20 minutes on an exercise bike, 15 on the treadmill, and then 400 stomach crunches.

Major Hamilton, who had a knee replacement aged 93, still drives his VW Polo into town every day after renewing his licence this month

A typical session sees him push his limits with 20 minutes on an exercise bike, 15 on the treadmill, and then 400 stomach crunches

He says his routine means he doesn’t suffer from arthritis, his lungs and heart are in perfect working order, and he only goes to the doctors twice a year for checkups.

‘I feel so fit and healthy like I could live on for another ten years or more,’ the widower said from his home in the Wiltshire village of Sutton Veny, said:

‘Someone asked me if I would quit going to the gym when I’m 100 and the answer is no.

‘I feel good but it’s confusing, I’m so full of life and almost waiting for something to go wrong.

‘The key to a long life is exercising and going to the gym – it makes you physically well but is mentally stimulating too.

‘If I didn’t go I think my last days would be long gone by now.’

His wife of 67 years Elsa (right) died of dementia in 2006 and he is the last of his contemporaries after best friend of 80 years, Art, died in 2013 aged 97

His wife of 67 years Elsa (right) died of dementia in 2006 and he is the last of his contemporaries after best friend of 80 years, Art, died in 2013 aged 97

After joining in 1939 he served with the 1st King's Dragoon Guards (pictured) and was evacuated from Dunkirk

After joining in 1939 he served with the 1st King’s Dragoon Guards (pictured) and was evacuated from Dunkirk

His wife of 67 years Elsa died of dementia in 2006 and he is the last of his contemporaries after best friend of 80 years, Art, died in 2013 aged 97.

Major Hamilton has been a regular at Harridges Health and Fitness Studio in Warminster, Wiltshire, for 12 years.

He was a keen sportsman and regularly played cricket, rugby, golf, cricket, rugby, tennis, squash and polo, and served in the Army for 25 years as a young man.

After joining in 1939 he served with the 1st King’s Dragoon Guards and was evacuated from Dunkirk.

The same year he met his wife Elsa when they both sheltered under the same tree during a storm in Hyde Park and they married three years later.

Major Hamilton served in Palestine, Germany and Jordan and worked as a tank instructor during 25-year army career.

He drinks a glass of wine every other night and only gave up smoking his an ounce of tobacco a week from his pipe six months ago

He drinks a glass of wine every other night and only gave up smoking his an ounce of tobacco a week from his pipe six months ago

He says his routine means he doesn't suffer from arthritis, his lungs and heart are in perfect working order, and he only goes to the doctors twice a year for checkups

He says his routine means he doesn’t suffer from arthritis, his lungs and heart are in perfect working order, and he only goes to the doctors twice a year for checkups

Major Hamilton has three children, eight grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren

Major Hamilton has three children, eight grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren

He retired 34 years ago aged 64 but his pace of life didn’t slow and as well as going to the gym he enjoys long country walks on weekends.

‘My oldest friend was Art who died aged 97. We met 80 years ago playing rugby before going our separate ways during the war,’ he said.

‘I miss him daily. My big family helps to keep me going. I entered a rowing competition five years ago and broke the world record for 1,000m time trial.

‘It was for people aged between 94 and 99.

‘In early attempts I recorded a time of five and a half minutes but started lifting heavier weights and brought it down to four minutes and 47 seconds.’

Major Hamilton has three children, eight grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.

‘I gave up smoking my pipe six months ago because I went to buy some tobacco from the shop but I lost it.

‘I took it as a sign and quit after that – I feel better without it – after rowing I used to gasp for air but now I’m full of breath.

‘I still enjoy a glass of wine every other night.’ 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.