A FORCES veteran who made a daring escape from captivity during the Second World War celebrated turning 95 by adding bricks to Durham Cathedral’s new Lego building.
Alongside his friends and family, nonagenarian Jim Mulhall added over 100 bricks to the 3.8metre long model of the iconic cathedral, which slides apart to replicate the inside of the ancient landmark.
Jim, of County Durham, signed up ahead of conscription to serve during the Second World War with the Durham Light Infantry (DLI).
He fought in Africa and Salerno before being imprisoned for three years in Monte Cassino.
Miraculously, he then managed to escape in a stolen Red Cross ambulance.
After travelling back to Britain with a member of the aristocratic Lascelles family, to his surprise Jim was greeted and whisked off for afternoon tea at the Ritz.
He now shies away from life’s luxuries and instead of receiving gifts, the 95-year-old requested for his birthday that friends and family donate money to the cathedral’s Lego creation, in particular a replica of the Durham Light Infantry memorial in the DLI Chapel.
Head of development at Durham Cathedral, Gaye Kirby, said: “It is wonderful to see the Lego cathedral reaching out to people for sentimental reasons and we are honoured that Jim, as a war veteran, has chosen to make this donation towards helping build a section of the DLI chapel.”
The generous donation made by Jim will contribute towards Durham Cathedral’s £10million Open Treasure appeal, which will open up previously hidden parts of the cathedral building to the public.
The first three years of the new exhibition will cover a never-seen before route through the Monks’ Dormitory leading to the Great Kitchen.
Donations to the lego brick project can be made in person at Durham Cathedral. For every £1 donated, a brick will be added to the 350,000 Lego build.
More information can be found at www.durhamcathedral.co.uk.