A MAN who helped save persecuted groups on the eve of the Second World War has celebrated his 105th birthday.

Sir Nicholas Winton organised the rescue of 669 mainly Jewish children by train from Prague in 1939.

The founder of the Czech Kindertransport operation was given a birthday cake and card at his home in Maidenhead by newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky, who is a member of the Prime Minister's Holocaust Commission which is investigating the UK's role in this period of history.

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She said: "We owe much to Sir Nicholas who worked so selflessly to save so many.

"His remarkable legacy is the hundreds of orphans, and children of parents forced to make a desperate choice, who survived as a result of his actions.

"Happy birthday Sir Nicholas."

He was also visited by Vera Schaufeld, who was one of the children he saved.

Sir Nicholas received a Hero of the Holocaust medal at Downing Street in 2010.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "At the age of only 29, Nicholas Winton showed extraordinary courage, doing whatever it took at the time to rescue over 600 children.

"I am proud to be Prime Minister of a country with people like Sir Nicholas in it. I wish him a very happy birthday."