A resident has celebrated her 100th birthday at Royal Star & Garter’s Solihull Home on Wednesday 25 May, with a day packed full of treats and surprises.
Joyce has been a resident at Royal Star & Garter since 2018. The Home provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia.
Joyce was the eldest of nine brothers and sisters and was born in Birmingham. She met her husband Frank at a ballroom dance, and the couple married on 8 November 1941 at Hall Green Parish Church in Birmingham. Frank went on to serve in the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry from 1943 to 1946, and saw frontline action in the Battle of Monte Cassino and Battle for the Gothic Line, both part of the Italian Campaign.
He was then stationed in Greece as part of the peacekeeping unit during the country’s civil war. The couple went on to have two children.
During WWII, Joyce worked at Wrensons grocers in Warwick Road, Olton, Solihull. She would occasionally stay overnight and sleep above the shop as fire watch.
On her 100th birthday, Joyce’s family joined her on the Royal Star & Garter minibus for a surprise drive around the Solihull and Sheldon areas, where she grew up. She visited Ninestiles, An Academy, which she attended as a child when it was named Hartfield Crescent. There, the current pupils sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to her.
The trip down memory lane also saw Joyce and her family visit old abodes and places of work.
Afterwards, Joyce and her family returned to the Home in Tudor Coppice, where she was treated to her favourite lunch of roast lamb with mint sauce. In the afternoon, residents joined Joyce and her family for a party, where they enjoyed cream tea and champagne, and live music.
The great-grandmother said: “I had a lovely day. The drive in the morning was quite a surprise!”
Her son Graham said afterwards: “All the staff at the Home made Mum’s day special from start to finish. We all want to give a heartfelt thanks for everything they have done to make the day exceptional.”
For more information about Royal Star & Garter in Solihull, or to work at the Home, go to www.starandgarter.org/solihull