Remarkable Lilian celebrates turning 101

Lilian Watts, who is marking her 101st birthday.

Lilian Watts, who is marking her 101st birthday. - Credit: Supplied by John Watts

Family and friends are planning to help North Walsham's Lilian Watts celebrate a very special birthday. 

After all, it is not every day you turn 101, as the great-great-grandmother does today (October 7).

John Watts, her son, said people would be popping by to wish Mrs Watts their best on the day and share a cup of tea and piece of cake. 

He said she was born in Axminster, Devon.

Lilian Watts, who is marking her 101st birthday.

Lilian Watts, who is marking her 101st birthday is pictured in this school photo in the front row, third from the left. She went to school in Axminster, Devon. - Credit: Supplied by the family

"Mum's early years were living in a happy but very poor family, with no indoor plumbing, electricity or gas," he said. 

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"The loo was at the top of the garden.

"There was no National Health Service so if you didn't have enough money to pay for the doctor or medicine, life could be very difficult."

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Mrs Watts was married in 1939 at the outbreak of the Second World War. 

She lived through the Blitz, and saw the effects of bombing in London when she was there with her son, visiting her husband, who was in the army. 

Lilian Watts, who is marking her 101st birthday. 

Lilian Watts, who is marking her 101st birthday. - Credit: Supplied by the family

After the war the family settled in the quiet Devon seaside town of Seaton.

Mr Watts said: "Mum and dad worked hard, but mum still found time to join the Royal British Legion, sitting on many committees and attending conferences around England. She was also a standard bearer."

Mrs Watts was awarded the RBL's gold medal for her service. 

She was involved in many charities, always finding a way to help others. 

Mr Watts said: "She loved to travel. In the early days she struggled to save up enough money to go to the old Yugoslavia, Austria and basic river trips. For her 80th birthday we took her to Rome."

Mr Watts said: "A few years later my brother also come to live in the town. She always had the support of her three children."

Mr Watts still loves to cook and look after her small garden near the centre of North Walsham, and she also spends time on her computer, and playing Scrabble.

Mr Watts said: "Her memory is very sharp remembering details, not only from the past, but what happened yesterday."

Mrs Watts has four grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.  

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