Swaffham twins celebrate 92nd birthday

From left, John and David Smith are twin brothers who have reached their 92nd birthday. Picture: Matthew Usher. From left, John and David Smith are twin brothers who have reached their 92nd birthday. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Saturday, May 31, 2014
6:37 AM

They are two of a kind - and now this pair of identical twins have achieved the rare feat of being able to celebrate their 92nd birthday together.

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Believed to be the oldest pair of surviving identical twins in the county, David and John Smith celebrated the occasion in what has become somewhat a tradition - with two pints of Guinness followed by a whisky with friends and family at the Greyhound pub in Swaffham.

The duo have outlived their other four siblings and they still see each other every day - they even ring each other first thing in the morning and last thing at night, after they have had their night-time Ovaltine and are heading to bed.

They put their long lives down to hard work and a “very happy” life.

“We’ve got no grumbles,” said John, who lives at Suffield Court in Swaffham and lost his wife Dolly two years ago. “We have been very happy all our lives. I’ve had a very good life and a very good wife, the best wife in the world. We’ve had a very good family life and have always been close.”

The pair grew up in Coney Weston in Suffolk and went to school in Thetford before they moved to Sporle in 1940. They have lived in the Swaffham area ever since.

Following in their father Joseph’s footsteps, the twins worked on farms all their lives and always worked together.

During the war, David ended up in hospital for nine weeks after he was blown up by a bomb while working on a field. He was 21 years old at the time and suffered burns on his arms.

After they moved to Swaffham, their mum Frances became one of the main midwives in the town, helping to deliver hundreds of babies in the town.

There is a plaque in her memory at Westfields Care Home in Swaffham.

After their drink together at the Greyhound pub - which was used as a filmset for the Kingdom film and yesterday laid on a birthday spread for their two identical regulars - the life-long Norwich City fans and keen dominoes players headed home to watch the television.

David, who lives at Hilton Court in Swaffham and has never married, said: “We’ve had some good memories together. When we were kids, you had to make yourself happy.

“We are lucky, very lucky. I can’t find fault in my life. I’ve never been out of a job all my life and I always worked hard.”

Do you know someone who is reaching a significant milestone? Email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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