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Phyllis celebrates her 100th birthday

Chocolate, the occasional sherry and having a healthy appetite are the key to a long life, according to Phyllis Phillips who has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Phyllis, from Cirencester, was born in Derby Barracks in 1913 - the third oldest in a family of four - where her father was a serving soldier. One of her most treasured possessions is a mug she was given, showing she was the first surviving baby to be born after National Insurance came in.

Having lived through both wars, one of her most vivid memories is from WWII when she was walking down a lane with her mother, who shoved her into a ditch to save her from a low-flying German plane which took pot shots at them. “I saw the gunner grinning at me as they flew past. I was very cross, I would like to have had a shot at him too!”

When living in Nottingham with her late husband John, Phyllis worked as a legal secretary. She remembers writing to the Sherriff of Nottingham asking him to provide a hangman when one of the firm’s clients was sentenced to death. In the end his services were not required because the client was given a reprieve!

Despite her great age, Phyllis is very independent and is able to remain living at home with the help of DoCare, a homecare company based in Stroud, who visit her twice a day. She loves chocolate and the occasional sherry; she admits to having a healthy appetite and enjoys a good roast dinner, kindly brought to her each week by a generous neighbour. She’s also been a keen whist player.

DoCare Managing Director Steve Mills said: “We’re delighted to be able to support Phyllis to enable to stay in her own home. She’s a firm favourite among our support workers, and we wish her many happy returns for her birthday. What an incredible milestone to have reached!”

Phyllis celebrated her birthday with a party, surrounded by her family, including some of her six grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. Phyllis has four daughters – Barbara, Sheila, Dorothy and also Mary, who flew in from Australia especially for the event.