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Lilian Ross who lives at Swaffham care home celebrates 108th birthday





A Swaffham care home has called one of its residents - who is the second oldest person in Norfolk - “inspirational” as she celebrates her 108th birthday.

Lilian Ross said “good food and good care” is the secret to living a long life, just after tucking into some cake and ice cream at the Paddocks care home where she has lived for the past three years.

Staff and residents at the care home made sure the special day was marked, with plenty of decorations, a barbecue and entertainment from some ballroom dancers who came in especially to perform.

Lilian Ross celebrated her 108th birthday on May 21
Lilian Ross celebrated her 108th birthday on May 21

Lilian was born on May 21 1916 in Hertfordshire in the middle of the First World War - a year where two of the longest and most notorious battles took place.

Lilian later worked as a machinist and dressmaker, making clothes in a factory, primarily clothes for the troops to wear in the Second World War.

She later married her husband Alec and went on to have two daughters as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Lilian with staff members from the Paddocks, from left: Jenny Strutt, Kirstie Jackson, Amelia Jastrzebowska and Daryl Licupa
Lilian with staff members from the Paddocks, from left: Jenny Strutt, Kirstie Jackson, Amelia Jastrzebowska and Daryl Licupa

She later moved to Norfolk when she turned 100 so she could be near family who live in Ashill.

On her birthday, Lilian said: “It feels surprising to be 108. I’m very happy to be here.”

Lilian is still able to walk and enjoys reading, doing exercises and going out in the garden when the sun is shining.

Lilian received a number of birthday cards, including one from the King and Queen
Lilian received a number of birthday cards, including one from the King and Queen

She received many birthday cards, including one from King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

Jenny Strutt, who works at The Paddocks, said: “On International Women’s Day, we named Lilian our inspirational woman because she is just inspirational.”

What else happened in 1916?

The Paddocks was decorated for Lilian's birthday
The Paddocks was decorated for Lilian's birthday

On the same day that Lilian was born, British Summer Time was first introduced, after a campaign by builder William Willett to move the clocks forward by 80 minutes.

Also in 1916, the British Royal Army Medical Corps carried out the first successful blood transfusion.

On January 9, 1916, The last British troops were evacuated from Gallipoli during the First World War and on July 1, the Battle of the Somme also began.

A special message from the King and Queen
A special message from the King and Queen

In April 1916, the toggle light switch was invented by William J. Newton and Morris Goldberg.



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