Royal Artillery Band play for WWII veteran Bob Whent (Picture: SWNS).

Royal Artillery Band Surprises WWII Veteran For 100th Birthday

Bob Whent served with the Royal Artillery during his time in the Armed Forces.

Royal Artillery Band play for WWII veteran Bob Whent (Picture: SWNS).

Royal Artillery Band play for WWII veteran Bob Whent (Picture: SWNS).

A World War Two veteran was given a special 100th birthday surprise by the Royal Artillery Band.

Bob Whent served in the Royal Artillery and was also part of the first wave of the D-Day Landings in Normandy in 1944. He celebrated his birthday in December but with no surviving relatives, his landmark birthday was only a low-key celebration.

On Mr Whent's birthday, Lord Mayor of Manchester, June Hitchen, presented him with a card from the Queen to celebrate his 100th birthday. 

Major Brad Braddock with Mr Whent (Picture: SWNS).
Major Brad Braddock with Mr Whent (Picture: SWNS).

When Lord Mayor Hitchen heard about Mr Whent's military background, she decided to pull some strings to organise a more fitting celebration.  

She used her contacts to eventually get in touch with the military charity SSAFA who helped organise the celebration.

"This year is the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings so it is particularly important that something was done to honour Bob," explained Wes Marchant from SSAFA.

Royal Artillery Band (Picture: SWNS).
(Picture: SWNS).

The Royal Artillery Band played a 45-minute concert for Mr Whent and his fellow residents at the Lightbowne Hall Care Home in Manchester.

'Happy Birthday' was played, along with the Regimental March, which Mr Whent would have paraded to every morning in his training days.

Battery Commander of 209 Battery, Major Brad Braddock, said: "There's not many people left and to do what they did, they need to be remembered and anybody who reaches a milestone of a 100-years-old is worthy of a little bit of attention from us."

Care home manager Victor Phiri said: "Bob is a quiet man who loves his old war movies and music, he often talks of his wartime days and you could see he was very very pleased, you could see in his facial expressions that he was really happy, it was a great surprise for him."