‘Unsinkable’ Lilian marks 105th

Lilian Hudson celebrates her 105th birthday at Beauchamp House in Chedgrave.Photo Simon Finlay

Lilian Hudson celebrates her 105th birthday at Beauchamp House in Chedgrave.Photo Simon Finlay

An 'unsinkable' grandmother who was raised in an orphanage has celebrated her 105th birthday.

Lilian Hudson, from Gorleston, is believed to be one of just 700 people in the UK to reach the milestone.

Born to a sailor and his wife in September 1911, she was the youngest of four sisters, who lived in the seaside town.

But her life changed dramatically at the age of three, when both of her parents died suddenly.

It resulted in her having to move to an orphanage in Bristol, where she also lost her 14-year-old sister to TB.

During the Second World War, Lilian served with the RAF in Sri Lanka, where she worked as a postal clerk. She later moved back to Norwich, working on the production lines at Colman's Mustard, and then the engineering firm Boulton and Paul Ltd.

It was there that she met her husband-to-be Geoffrey Hudson, and the pair married in the 1950s.

Most Read

Although she has no children of her own, Lilian has a step-child and four step-grandchildren.

Her nephew Derek Shepherd, 73, who helped Lilian celebrate her birthday, said she had an adventurous spirit. 'I think that is what has kept her going all these years,' he said. 'She is very optimistic and things never seem to get her down. She is unsinkable.'

Despite her age, Mr Shepherd said Lilian still remains active and is very disciplined – attributes that she believes have contributed to her long life.

Care home staff at Beauchamp House in Chedgrave helped Lilian mark her birthday last Thursday with a cake. She was joined by other residents, who were entertained by a vintage singer.

Is a member of your family celebrating a milestone birthday? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter