Dominic Bareham, senior reporter
Monday, December 31, 2012
It was the year the republic of China was born, the Girl Scouts were founded, the South Pole was reached by explorer Roald Amundsen and the Titanic sank after striking an iceberg.
And 1912 also heralded the arrival of New Buckenham mother-of-two Elsie Frost, who celebrated her 100th birthday at a party held in her honour at St Mary’s Care Home in the village on December 29.
The former housemaid was born Elsie Lillian Hunt to her parents Edith and Harry in Hengrave, Suffolk and worked in service as a housemaid at Hengrave Hall, a Tudor manor house.
During the Second World War, she moved to London where she also worked in service and met her future husband Harry, who was initially away from home with the 5th Royal Norfolk regiment, serving in Singapore during the war, although he was only posted for a couple of months before returning to London.
After leaving the army, he worked as a butler at Crawley Manor in Hampshire before the couple both moved to Norfolk where they worked at Holkham Hall.
The couple then moved to Little Cressingham and Morton-On-The-Hill near Lenwade before moving to School Lane in Sprowston, where they were living when Harry died in 1975, aged 62.
Mrs Frost then lived in St Christophers Close in Norwich before moving to the care home in New Buckenham, although she continued to live independently until her mid-90s.
The couple had two children- Philip, 66 and Colin, 62- who were present at the party along with Mrs Frost’s extended family, including her daughter-in-law Sue Frost and two nieces.
Sue believed her long life was due to her independent spirit and calm nature, adding: “She has always been so independent, she has always done things for herself and been so polite, calm and sweet natured. She has never complained about anything, never been upset.”
She added her mother-in-law never smoked, though she liked the occasional glass of sherry.