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Celebrations for 100th birthdays

Vera Bailey celebrates her 100th birthday'Photo: Lee Hellwing
Vera Bailey celebrates her 100th birthday'Photo: Lee Hellwing

A Second World War veteran from Stamford who turned 100 maintains keeping fit has ensured he has lived so long.

Phil Dawtry celebrated his 100th birthday in the warm embrace of friends and family at the Whitefriars Care Home in Stamford on Wednesday (February 14).

Phil served in the Army’s Royal Hampshire Regiment during the Second World War and spent three years as a prisoner of war after being captured in North Africa.

He has spent most of his life living in Stamford since the end of the war and worked at building firm Bowmans.

Phil often goes on walks in the Whitefriars garden and has remained active all his life.

He said: “I just keep working, and always keep fit. I like to keep myself young.”

Attending his birthday celebration at the Whitefriars were his two daughters, Patricia and Carol. Carol was born in 1943 and did not see Phil for the first three years of her life due to him being a prisoner of war.

Phil was married to Winifred, who died several years ago, and has four grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. Granddaughter Claire Cardno and her three children Finlay, Caitlyn and Bronte flew over from Australia where they live to celebrates Jim’s special day at the Whitefriars.

Among those present was the mayor of Stamford Tony Story, who is friends with Phil.

He also enjoyed a celebration at the Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre in Stamford with friends and family on Saturday.

n Tixover woman Vera Bailey who turned 100 last Friday (February 9) said “drinking gin and tonic” was the secret to her long life.

Vera celebrated at Tixover House Care Home where she lives, with her family, staff and fellow residents.

Vera said: “I will seldom have more than one gin a night but if it is a birthday or a special occasion, it might be more than one.”

Providing entertainment for Vera’s birthday was singer Gavin Burke who sang songs from a variety of genres.

And to top off the special occasion, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Rutland Ed Burrows also handed Vera her birthday card from the Queen.

Vera’s late husband John, an electrical engineer, led a project to build the first hospital in Zanzibar, East Africa, in the early 1960s and the couple lived there for seven years while work was taking place.

Whilst working in Zanzibar, Vera worked as a secretary for MI5 at its offices in the Sultan’s Palace.

John, who died seven years ago, and Vera have two sons, Nigel and Marten.

Vera also worked as secretary at the railway offices in Crewe, Cheshire where she was born, and a law firm.

She spent many years of her life living in Bangor, North Wales.

Vera said:“I have tried to live a good life and I think I have succeeded.”


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