A decorated Royal Navy veteran from North Cheam who received several prestigious honours across his military career has died at the age of 100.

Archie Stirling Aitken was bestowed several awards over a 15-year spell – including France’s highest order of merit, the Legion of Honour, during 2016.

After becoming a chief petty officer, he retired from the navy following 15 years’ service in 1953 before he suffered a stroke and died this past April.

Now a memorial service is being held to remember him later this month.

Long-time friend of 15 years John Ruske said: “He was an extremely popular man, due to his gentleness and compassion for others.

“He was modest, unassuming, and private and never wanted what he didn’t have.

“Archie will be sorely missed.”

The Legion of Honour was given to him in recognition of how he protected his colleagues and supply lines from U-boat attacks on June 6, 1944.

He earned several other notable decorations – including the Croix de Guerre 1939-1945, United Nations Service Medal for Korea, Atlantic and Africa Star campaign medals, General Service Medal 1947, and the Victory Medal.

He was born in Burma on October 6 in 1917, and had two brothers – John, who is now 93, and Austin, 88.

It was when he was sent to England by his parents to complete his education that he would enlist in the navy during 1938, before being called up for service the following January.

Mr Aitken continued his Royal Navy service on an aircraft carrier during the Korean War, which lasted between 1950 and 1953.

His brother John, who is also a British Army D-Day veteran, has also been awarded the Legion of Honour.

Following military service, Mr Aitken worked until his retirement at 65 years old, living in North Cheam before moving to sheltered accommodation further into central Sutton.

He kept up an active social life, remaining in touch with other former Royal Navy servicemen, and was a member at Christ Church with St Philip in Ruskin Drive for more than 30 years.

The avid stamp collector celebrated his 100th birthday on October 6 last year with friends and family, including his son Andrew and daughter-in-law Brenda.

Mr Aitken also had a daughter, who has sadly since died, and is survived by his son, two brothers and four grandchildren.

The memorial service will be held at Christ Church with St Philip on September 13 at 2pm.