‘Thank you Exmouth’ - 100-year-old Bob inundated with birthday cards

Bob Crum, with some of the cards he received for his birthday. Picture: Daniel Wilkins

Bob Crum, with some of the cards he received for his birthday. Picture: Daniel Wilkins - Credit: Archant

The kindness of the Exmouth community has left a war hero ‘overwhelmed’ after being inundated with cards and well-wishers on his 100th birthday.

Bob Crum, who has been shielding alone at his Exmouth home from the coronavirus pandemic since March, received around 100 cards, one for each year of his life - all wishing him a happy birthday as he became a centenarian.

It follows a plea for cards to be sent to Bob, through the Journal, from his friend Sarah Allen.

Among those sending Bob cards was The Queen, East Devon MP Simon Jupp and children from Exmouth primary schools.

He also received a carrier bag of food from Home Instead and members of the Brixington Baptist Church – where he used to attend a coffee morning – sang happy birthday to him outside his home.

Bob said he was ‘overwhelmed’ to receive the number of cards he has received so far.

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He said: “I couldn’t believe it – there’s still more coming in.”

Bob said that being alone doesn’t worry him as he has done so for nearly seven years, but thanked everyone who sent him cards, adding: “I am overwhelmed by the number of people who sent cards especially people who I do not even know that have taken the time to do it.”

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Bob was born in London and grew up in the Woolwich area of London.

Prior to World War Two he held a job in the War Department before joining the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1941.

He was involved in the liberation of the Channel Islands from German occupation.

At the end of the war, he moved up to Lancashire and began working for what was known as the British Cotton Research Institute where he remained until his retirement in 1983.

Two years later he relocated to Exmouth where he has lived since.

Bob, who has two children, three grandchildren and six great grandchildren, said the secret to a long life is genetics, hygiene and luck.

He added: “No matter how healthy you are, you’ve got to have some luck.”

Bob would like to hear from anyone who served in Force 135 during the liberation of the Channel Islands. If you know someone who did, please get in touch by emailing the Exmouth Journal

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