When asked on whether he believed he would go to heaven, Spike Milligan once said: “I'd like to go there. But if Jeffrey Archer is there I want to go to Lewisham.”

The famous British comedian and writer, who would have just celebrated his 100th birthday on Monday (April 16), didn’t pick Lewisham completely at random either.

Spike was born to a British mother and an Irish father in India in 1918 but moved to Lewisham at the age of 12 and spent his formative years in the borough.

More specifically he moved to 22 Gabriel Street in Honour Oak Park, and later to 50 Riseldine Road just up the street.

He went to Brownhill Road School, which later became Catford Boys School, and St Saviours Primary School in Lewisham.

The famous author worked all around the local area, from Chislehurst Laundry to Stones’ Engineering in Deptford.

He even performed at local clubs, including the Tiger’s Head in Lee and played jazz at St Cyprians Hall in Brockley.

Spike took music classes at Goldsmiths University, skills he would later use to entertain troops on the battlefield.

Today people have been slowly pushing for there to be a statue to the Lewisham comedian close to the Victorian clock tower in Lewisham High Street.

Does this mean Spike Milligan was a huge fan of Lewisham and the surrounding areas? Not exactly, if his poem Catford 1933 was anything to go by.

The poem spoke about the poor conditions, freezing room, pea-soup yellow fog and unemployment that was rife in the area. The poem ends with the lines “God Save the King. But God help the rest of us.”

Spike died in 2002 and was buried in East Sussex and his tombstone has the words in Irish saying: “I told you I was ill.”