She was born in the same year Stanley Baldwin first became prime minister and when George V was still on the throne. 

And since her birth in August 1923, Ruth Hadman has gone on to see many interesting things, and complete many more. 

Born in Gloucestershire, she lived on a farm in the Cotswolds that had been bought by her parents after the First World War. 

In 1940, during the Battle of Britain, she recalled two aircraft crashing into the family farm – British and German – with only the British pilot surviving. 

Eastern Daily Press: Ruth Hadman has celebrated turning 100

In her last year at school, she was awarded Victor Ludorum for her sporting efforts, and she also received good results in the Higher National School Certificate

She wanted to pursue her studies at university, at a time when women rarely went there, and went on to be offered places at Oxford and King’s College in London to study botany. 

Unfortunately, her parents could not afford Oxford fees so she went to King’s College after being offered a scholarship. 

Eastern Daily Press: Ruth Hadman and her husband, Don

Soon after starting her degree in London, the German bombing became so bad that the college moved to Bristol. 

Despite taking many exams during air raids, she excelled and decided to take her PhD. She completed this after taking a job with Imperial Chemical Industries in Manchester. 

After the war, she returned to the college and met her future husband, Don. He had recently been demobbed from the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm and had commenced his medical training. 

Eastern Daily Press: Ruth Hadman getting her PhD

The couple married in 1947, and after qualifying he wanted to combine two great interests; medicine and Kenya. 

Their son, Simon, was born in 1951, just before the family moved to Kenya to work for the Colonial Service. A second son, Alan, was born in 1953. 

As was the norm in the Colonial Service, staff were moved from district to district every two years. Two districts included being close to Mount Kenya at the time of the Mau Mau rebellion. 

Eastern Daily Press: Ruth Hadman published book of her village's history

Once the children were older, Mrs Hadman began teaching at the local schools. 

Upon finding there were no science textbooks specifically related to a tropical environment, she wrote her own book entitled Biology for East Africa, which is still used today. 

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After the African country gained independence, in 1963, the family returned to the UK and settled in a former vicarage in Bedingham in south Norfolk. 

Mr Hadman became a GP in nearby Beccles on the Suffolk border, while Mrs Hadman returned to teaching science at various schools including City College Norwich. 

Eastern Daily Press: Ruth Hadman (right) has celebrated turning 100

With friend and fellow Bedingham resident, Peggy Latham, the pair researched the history of the village from 1066 till 2000. 

After Ms Latham’s death, Mrs Hadman completed the book they had been working on and had it published before gifting a copy to every household in the village. 

Somehow, among all of her other activities, Mrs Hadman became the parish meeting chair and a Liberal Democrat councillor on South Norfolk District Council. 

Eastern Daily Press: Ruth Hadman has celebrated turning 100

Conservation had always been an interest, so she also ensured that part of the local churchyard was treated with conservation in mind, as well as encouraging the Highway Authority to treat many roadside verges with the same consideration. 

Mr Hadman died in 1986, but Mrs Hadman continued to live at the Old Vicarage until 2021 when she moved to Norwich to live with family. 

She now lives at St John’s House care home in the city. 

Mrs Hadman celebrated her 100th birthday on August 6. 

Eastern Daily Press: Ruth Hadman with her card from King Charles III