World War II land girl receives 300 cards for her 100th birthday


A nursing home said it was “overwhelmed” after a resident received more than 300 cards for his 100th birthday.

Fieldhouse Care Home in Eye, Peterborough celebrated Olive Porritt's special birthday on Wednesday with her family, care home members and her loved ones.

Mrs Porritt, the first centenarian at the nursing home, was greeted with flowers, a balloon arch and cake after word of her birthday spread through the community.

Mrs Porritt also received a birthday card from the King and said she “couldn't believe” this had happened – although she hoped “he would come in person” to wish her well.

Oliver Porritt with two women besides her birthday cake Oliver Porritt with two women besides her birthday cake

Mrs Porritt received cake, flowers and balloons on her birthday [Shariqua Ahmed / BBC]

During World War II, Mrs. Porritt served in the Women's Land Corps, an organization that recruited women for agricultural work to replace male workers who had been drafted into the army.

She served in the Army from 1942-46. Her family believe she may be one of the last remaining survivors from Kent, where Mrs Porritt was from and the area she served during that time.

Her nephew Grant Tomkins said the family was “thankful” to everyone in the community for making his aunt's day so special.

“She was very happy and very touched, especially by the king's card. But she said she would be very disappointed if he didn't come to bless her [a happy birthday] As an active-duty female soldier.

“She was stationed at the Benizete Palace during the war. She was probably the last Army girl at the station.

“We're all here, we're from London. Some of her friends are coming too… it's really special to celebrate her,” Mr Tomkins said.

Oliver admires the birthday card on the tableOliver admires the birthday card on the table

Mrs. Porritt received more than 300 birthday cards from the community [Shariqua Ahmed /BBC]

Nursing home manager Shamim Bashir said everyone was “shocked” by the community's response.

“Oliver is our first 100-year-old resident. She has no children or siblings…so we thought the community could come together and do something in her honor. We are overwhelmed – people come in and make cakes, balloon structures and 300 Multiple cards.

“We asked her her favorite color and she said lavender, so all the decorations were lavender. She also wore a cute lavender cardigan.

“She was so impressed by all the wishes and cards and we and Oliver would like to thank everyone for taking part in the celebrations.

“We would like to pay special tribute to Ashbeach Primary School in Ramsay – [who] Sent a personal card for Ovie.

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