Margaret Sturgess believes she couldn’t have had a better 100th birthday if she had been at the Savoy Hotel in London.
The birthday girl, who was born on October 24, 1912, went to the Green’s Restaurant in Wickham with close family and some friends. Over a meal with champagne, they celebrated 100 years. Margaret says: ‘It was absolutely wonderful.’
Her daughter, Elizabeth, says: ‘It was so lovely to see family there and some of her neighbours. I know she loved it.’
On her birthday she also received a telegram from the Queen congratulating her.
Margaret was born in Birmingham and moved down to the Portsmouth area around 1925 when Churchill was calling for engineers and her father began working at HMS Vernon. At the time he worked for Rolls Royce, and he carried on working in Portsmouth throughout the Second World War too.
Margaret married a farmer in 1939 and had her daughter, Elizabeth, in 1943. Elizabeth says: ‘They ended up going their separate ways but they lived near Botley during the war.
‘Apparently they had lots of Canadians there at the time as they were getting ready for the D-Day landings. It was quite exciting I think!’
After the end of the Second World War, Margaret set up her own newsagents in Fratton and ran it for 13 years.
Elizabeth says: ‘She met a lovely Londoner man, Bill Sturgess, when I was about 12 in 1956 and they married and moved to Tunbridge Wells. They had such a happy life together and they were very much in love.’
Bill sadly died two years ago. He worked in textiles throughout his life, and was a war prisoner of the Japanese during the Second World War.
Margaret moved back to the area many years ago to be close to her mum in Portchester, who lived until she was 104.