RAF march and salute for centenarian Maisie on special day
- Credit: Archant
A former member of the RAF Bomber Command has celebrated her 100th birthday.
Violet May Hodge, known as Maisie, celebrated her big day at All Hallows care home, in Bungay, on September 2 with a visit from the RAF Association, who gave the former telephone operator a socially distanced march and salute in the home’s gardens.
Born in west London in 1920, Mrs Hodge spent her childhood years living in a small flat above Marylebone Fire Station, where her father was station master, before the family moved to Tottenham.
Joining the RAF in 1941, Mrs Hodge was stationed at the famous RAF Bomber Command in High Wycombe, where she worked until 1946.
It was at her next job, as secretary at the Carreras Cigarette factory, where she met and married Dennis Hodge in 1948.
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Mr Hodge moved to Entebbe, Uganda, in late 1950, with his wife joining several months later after giving birth to the couple’s first daughter Jane, who passed away in 2017. The couple had two more daughters - Carole in 1952 and Jill in 1957.
Working as a secretary in an animal sanctuary for orphaned wildlife, life in Uganda was a true adventure for Mrs Hodge, who enjoyed numerous safaris and shone as the vocalist of the Entebbe Amateur Dramatic Society.
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Returning to England in 1963, the family spent time in Chelmsford and Leigh-on-Sea before moving to Wangford in 1986, where Mrs Hodge stayed following the death of her husband the following year, before moving in with daughter Jill and her family in 2009.
The grandmother-of-six and great-grandmother-of-five became a permanent resident of All Hallows Care Home, on St John’s Road, in November 2017, where she celebrated her 100th birthday this month.
Daughter Carol said: “I would like to thank everyone who helped Mum have a truly wonderful 100th birthday.
“As a family, we want to give a special thank you to the loving and kind carers, nurses, caterers and management who went above and beyond their way to make her day as special as it was.”
The care home, which provides care and support to more than 40 people, was saved by NorseCare following the collapse of the All Hallows Healthcare Trust in 2019.