At 100 years old, John Harrison still gets what he calls "mine trouble" in his spine after a dramatic incident while he was serving as an ordnance officer aboard HMS Belfast during WWII.

"It did not do me an awful lot of good. It did not do the turret an awful lot of good," he admits to IBTimes UK.

But if it wasn't for the incident, John would not be alive today. Immediately afterwards he was asked to conduct a mechanical assessment of the extensively damaged Belfast and so did not suffer the fate of his crew members, who perished aboard HMS Hood during the Battle of the Denmark Strait in May 1941.

As part of a trio of short films featuring those who experienced the war, to mark 70 years since VE Day, Harrison shares his story with IBTimes UK.