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Gosberton ex Royal Marine marks 100th birthday

There was call for celebration in Gosberton at the weekend when a former Royal Marine turned 100.

Gordon John Bission, known as John, celebrated his big birthday at Gosberton House Care Home with cards, presents and a Covid-safe visit from his youngest daughter Lynette.

John, who was born in Jersey on April 4, 1921, has enjoyed a full life, joining the Royal Marines in his teens – and his reason for joining was very important.

John Bisson pictured with his youngest daughter Lynne before the pandemic began. (45779319)
John Bisson pictured with his youngest daughter Lynne before the pandemic began. (45779319)

John’s eldest daughter Heather Davidson, who lives in Canada,
explained: “He had a brother, Bill, and two sisters, Eva and Irene. Wanting to see the world, he became a Royal Marine in his teens. The story he told was that he was going to join the army as his brother had joined the Coldstream Guards , but he joined the Royal Marines because they paid more!”

It was during his time in the Marines that John met the love of his life, Joan, after he was billeted to Laceby when unable to return to the occupied Channel Islands.

When a terrifying ordeal took place, Joan was at John’s side.

Heather said: “When John’s ship, The Nelson, was torpedoed and he ended up losing a kidney, Joan dropped everything to go up and be with him in the hospital in Scotland. Needless to say, the rest is history.”

The couple married in 1945 and John was invalided out of the
Marines but had earned several medals for his bravery and his
efforts fighting for his country.

Two years later the couple’s first child, their son Paul, was born and they relocated to Spalding, where John initially worked at Caterpillar heavy machinery dealers Leverton’s in the town before moving on to the South Holland Drainage Board where he remained for the rest of his working life. During this time Heather and Lynette were both born and John fell in love with the town.

Heather said: “John enjoyed his life in Spalding. He joined Spalding Golf Club and played for many years there, only giving up when he couldn’t manage to walk the course any more in his 80s. No way was he going to use a cart! He is a very friendly person so he got to know many people . He loves to chat and make people laugh and misses walking around the town and seeing his friends and acquaintances.”

Sadly, Joan passed away in 2002 but John remained very mobile until he developed sepsis during a stay in hospital in 2019.

Heather said: “Being as strong as an ox, he survived that – much to the doctor’s amazement. He is one tough guy as he also survived Covid-19 and has diabetes.”

John was able to celebrate his big day with a Covid-safe visit from Lynette and a card from The Queen.

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