D-day veteran and newborn great-grandson share birthday 100 years apart

Ken Hobbs and great-grandson Sonny Baldwin

A D-Day veteran who just celebrated his 100th birthday with a fellow veteran, has revealed he's discovered he also shares his birthday with his great-grandson.

Ken Hobbs celebrated his 100th birthday on Sunday February 12 at the Blind Veterans UK wellbeing centre in Brighton, East Sussex.

He was surrounded by his friends and family - except his granddaughter, Stephanie Baldwin who went in labour.

Mrs Baldwin started feeling contractions on Friday and gave birth to Sonny at 7.57pm on Sunday, meaning he was born 100 years to the day after his great-grandfather.

The 34-year-old said: “It’s just unbelievable and amazing how it’s all turned out. My grandad is the rock of our family and I’m so proud of him.

“The fact that Sonny was born on his 100th birthday is the most amazing coincidence and something we will remember forever.

Ken Hobbs reads his 100th birthday card from the King. Credit: Family handout/PA

“It’s also a lovely early birthday present for his older brother, Lennon, who turns five in a couple of weeks.”

Sonny’s father, 44-year-old Kieran Baldwin, said: “He was due on the 7th, so this wasn’t something that we had ever considered would happen.

“When Steph started to have contractions on Friday we started to think it was a real possibility.

“We’re over the moon and it’s just fantastic that Steph, Sonny and Ken are all healthy and well.”

Mr Hobbs said: “It’s absolutely marvellous. Everyone is delighted. We’re one big happy family, we’re all very close.

“They’ll be bringing the baby up to see me, I’m really looking forward to it.”

Mr Hobbs joined the Royal Army Service Corps in 1942.

After basic training in Huthwaite, Nottinghamshire, which involved a lot of “foot slogging”, he became a driver and delivered essential cargo across England right up until D-Day.

At 7.30am he drove his vehicle on to Sword Beach and remembers it was “very noisy”.

Ken Hobbs in 1942 Credit: Family handout/PA

He recalled meeting a Frenchman at the top of the beach, who said: “Hello Tommy, I knew you’d come back one day.”

Mr Hobbs suffered an injury to his left eye following an accident just after the war ended, but this did not stop him driving and he went on to get a job as a bus driver.

He was diagnosed with macular degeneration later in life and has received support from Blind Veterans UK since 2012.

He met friend and Bletchley Park veteran Margaret Wilson at the charity’s wellness centre, where he lives, and the pair celebrated their 100th birthday together over Zoom as they discovered that by chance they also share a birthday.

Mr Hobbs said: “It’s awful when you lose your sight, as suddenly you can’t do the things that you used to be able to do.

“The charity has given me lots of equipment, like a magnifier, which means I can continue to read using the little sight that I have left.”

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