December 13 2013 Latest news:
Friday, October 25, 2013
Costessey woman Mary Biggs survived two world wars and has now celebrated her 100th birthday at a sheltered housing complex.
When the centenarian, who grew up in Yorkshire, was born, George V was the reigning Monarch and the women’s suffragette movement was in full swing.
Mrs Biggs, who also lived in Hampshire before moving to Barley Court, can remember being taken into a cellar at the start of the first world war as the Zeppelins flew over.
She later moved to Hampshire where she met and married John Henry and they had a son together called David.
At the age of three David waved goodbye to his dad when he was called up to serve during the second world war.
During his absence, Mrs Biggs, known as Betty, took in a number of evacuees and provided many families with a loving and caring home.
This included a mother and three-week-old baby, Florence and Barbara.
She developed a strong bond with this family and still has regular contact with them since their move to Canada.
She has visited them and even took part on the Canadian version of Songs of Praise.
While serving, her husband was taken as a prisoner of war in Italy and went missing for five months.
He was awarded the military medal for Bravery in the Field.
She lived in Watford for 52 years before moving to Norfolk. She moved into Barley Court in 1992.
She said: “I would like everyone to know that care homes should be thanked more often for their good work. I would like to thank Sue and all her staff.”
Sue Martin, NorseCare scheme manager at Barley Court said: “Betty has been with us since the scheme opened and I say this from the heart that she is a truly marvellous lady and nobody can say a bad word about her.
“It’s is an extra special day for us as Betty is the first resident to reach the grand age of 100 at Barley Court. She has led such an interesting life and she is still in such good health you wouldn’t guess she was 100.”
The sheltered housing accommodation held an after lunch celebration for her on Wednesday, when her family and fellow tenants were present.