‘Amazing’ Mildred celebrates 106th birthday at Sherborne care home
SHE was born in the reign of Edward VII, recalls going to school in a pony and trap and left for a new life in Canada on board an ocean steamship in the same year the Titanic sank.
One of the oldest people in Dorset, Mildred Kerr has just celebrated her 106th birthday at Colten Care's Abbey View home in Sherborne where she has lived since 2003.
London-born Mildred, a descendant of the 18th century Lord Lieutenants of Norfolk, was joined at her party by family, friends and fellow residents.
Her daughter Shirley Fry, who runs a Bible study group as a volunteer at the home, said: "My mother always kept fit, first playing tennis and then golf. She has also kept her mind active as a regular bridge player. To warm her spirit, she used to have a spot of whisky at supper time but began to feel it was becoming too strong so has now switched to sherry instead."
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Mildred, who has two grandchildren and four great grandchildren, was just six-years-old when her family emigrated to Vancouver. She sailed on the SS Teutonic, part of the White Star Line's fleet along with the ill-fated Titanic.
The family stayed in Canada until 1918, surviving a hazardous journey back across the Atlantic with their ship having to dodge mines laid in the First World War.
Mildred later worked in the cable office of the Australia House consulate in London and ran a canteen for volunteer railway workers during the 1926 General Strike.
She stayed in London during the Second World War, reputedly keeping neighbours' spirits up during the Blitz, and lived in the same house in Ealing with husband Cecil for 60 years.
Abbey View Manager Jo Ellis said: "Mildred is a lovely lady with a warm personality and many friends in and out of the home. It is amazing to think of the dramatic changes she has seen in society during her long lifetime."
Despite her great age, Mildred is not the oldest resident at Abbey View. That honour belongs to her friend Doris Barber who celebrated her 106th birthday in July. Doris has lived at Abbey View since 2008.