Welney 90-year-old, who shares the same birthday as the Queen, to help light beacon at Downham Market

Soon to be 90 year old Raymond Wilson from Welney, will be lighting the beacon to mark the Queen's 9

Soon to be 90 year old Raymond Wilson from Welney, will be lighting the beacon to mark the Queen's 90th Birthday at Downham Market. Picture: Matthew Usher.

In 1947 Raymond Wilson was demobbed after serving in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, that same year Queen Elizabeth married Prince Philip Mountbatten of Greece and Denmark at Westminster Abbey.

In 1948 the Prince of Wales was born, and 90-year-old Mr Wilson married his wife Margaret in Welney.

Their two lives took vastly different paths but they share one very important date.

As the Queen received birthday greetings from well-wishers from around the world,~ Mr Wilson celebrated his special day by being one of seven to light a beacon at Downham Market, in honour of Her Majesty.

'I am a royalist, very much so. I think she's really done her job really well without making a lot of fuss about it. I know they get a lot of privileges but everybody's looking at her,' said the great-grandfather.


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In his late teens, Mr Wilson, who has lived in Welney for more than 60 years, tried to join the Royal Air Force but, by his own admission, 'was not a good enough scholar'.

So in 1943, he joined the Royal Navy, eventually being posted to the Destroyer HMS Hayden.

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Mr Wilson, who has two daughters Linda and Jean, was sent to Malta and, when the opportunity for him to swap positions with a man aboard the HMS Anson, he quickly took it due to dreadful sea sickness and the promise the new ship would not 'jump about' so much.

With the Anson, he went to the Far East and Australia, then to Hong Kong where they accepted the surrender of Japanese Forces.

He also witnessed the aftermath of the devastation caused by the nuclear bomb at Hiroshima.

Mr Wilson, who worked for local drainage boards after the war, said he spent many happy weekends visiting Hunstanton with his family.

His grandchildren are Davey and Robin Grace and Emma and Rachel Chew.

Robin, who is married to Kelly, has two sons, two-year-old Marley J and four-month-old Buddy James Ray.

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