Precious telegrams to West Country centenarians from the Queen


A CELEBRATING CENTENARY: Former Frome Town and Somerset County Councilor Gillian Balchin received a telegram from the Queen on her 100th birthday


So many people in our communities across the country have been blessed with a telegram from the Queen wishing them a happy 100th birthday.

Cards are sent to those celebrating their 100th and 105th birthdays, and then every year thereafter. They contain a personalized message and arrive in a special envelope.

We look back at the wonderful stories we’ve featured on InYourArea over the past few years – and the lucky people across the West Country whose day was made with warm wishes from our precious monarch.


A resident of Bournemouth care home celebrates its 100th birthday with a visit from downstairs

VISIT FROM AUSTRALIA: Rita Crumplin celebrated a historic birthday with her son

A resident of a care home in Bournemouth, Dorset, celebrated her 100th birthday with a surprise visit from her son, who traveled all the way from Australia.

Rita Crumplin was thrilled to spend her historic birthday with her son Paul on Sunday, March 27.

Rita’s milestone birthday was a roller coaster of surprises; not only with Paul’s visit, but she also received her commemorative telegram from the Royal Patron of Friends of the Aged, Her Majesty The Queen.


READ MORE: Our recent stories about Queen Elizabeth II here


A resident of Frome nursing home shares the secret to a long and happy life on his 100th birthday

FLOODED WITH MAPS: Ethel Eileen Sarah Bailey in her retirement home in Frome

The resident of a retirement home in Frome has shared the secret to living a long and happy life on her 100e birthday.

Eileen was born on 26 April 1922 in Newport, South Wales and moved to Frome in 1926 aged four. Eileen’s first job was working at the Express Dairy, before later working in finance at a local electrical store.

Phil Vale, managing director of Rossetti House, said: “We have been inundated with birthday cards, including one from the Queen, which Eileen particularly enjoyed.”


100-year-old Bathonian gets the dream birthday present of an ice cream van tour

ICE CREAM MAN: Ron Hancock got a 99 to celebrate his 100th birthday

Ron Hancock was born in Twerton on May 25, 1921, and 100 years later his childhood dream came true when his family hired an ice cream van to visit his retirement home.

During the Second World War Ron worked as a member of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME). He was sent to Egypt, Cairo and beyond as part of his service.


Poole’s wife who celebrated her 100th birthday says: ‘I don’t feel a day over 80′

FABULOUS AT 100: Beatrice Simpson turns 100

Beatrice Simpson celebrated her centenary with a garden party packed with her friends, family and team members at The Potteries in Poole, Dorset.

Aware of Beatrice’s love of ballroom dancing, the team arranged for singer, Kelly Lorraine, to sing classic songs from across the decades while up-and-coming dancers, Florence and Hugo, offered an after midday ballroom dancing.

Raising a glass to the occasion, Beatrice said: “I don’t ever feel like I’m over 80.”


Friends and family help Dorothy celebrate her 100th birthday in style

A FANTASTIC MOTHER-IN-LAW: Dorothy Killbourn received a telegram from the Queen

One of North Devon’s oldest residents received a telegram from the Queen in recognition of his historic birthday.

Dorothy Killbourn’s daughter-in-law Linda said: “Dorothy is and has been a fantastic mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and friend to so many over the past hundred years, and that is wonderful to be with her on this very special day to say how proud she makes us.

A phone call from Dorothy’s son, Michael, who lives in France, capped off the day.


Former Frome councilor and trader turns 100

SERVING THE PUBLIC: Former City and County Councilor Gillian Balchin

A former Frome councilor and shopkeeper celebrated her 100th birthday last month when her immediate family gathered for a small celebration of her long life.

This included playing the piano at the Home Service Children’s Hour, driving an ambulance during World War II, and serving the community as a Frome Town Councilor and Somerset County Councillor.

Gillian and her daughter Heather attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in 1975 in recognition of her public service.


Marmite-loving WWII veteran celebrates 100th birthday

LOVE OF MARMITE: Bert Jones said the secret to a long life is to eat lots of Marmite

A WWII prisoner who credited his longevity to his love for Marmite turns 100e birthday with a telegram from the Queen.

Unexpectedly, Bert was among 40,000 men captured and interned in POW camps in Germany and Poland. He survived terrible conditions, including starvation during the long march through the freezing winter weather from January to May 1945.

Bert Jones was born in Ramsgate, Kent, but moved to Braunton, Devon, after the war to marry a local girl, Eva Murch. He was joined by his friends and family to celebrate his 100th birthday.


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