Fratton's musical Maisie celebrates 101st birthday
After celebrating her 101st birthday on December 21, Maisie Bartlett says she is grateful to reach such a great age.
This year has been tough for many and Maisie says her heart goes out to everyone who has endured it, but especially young people.
She says: ‘I had to go through two world wars and then this. I would not wish such things on them and I am sad it has affected their futures.’
The keen musician, from Fratton, played her own role in the Second World War and especially on D-Day.
Armed with nothing but her accordion, she played music to the men as they made their final preparations for the invasion of Normandy.
She said: ‘It was my job to entertain the troops while they were on the beaches here in Portsmouth. I had my accordion and was playing some of the modern songs like Glenn Miller’s stuff for them – I think they were sick of It’s A Long Way To Tipperary by that point in the war!
‘I loved doing it, it was nice to put a smile on their faces as they sang along.
‘I had always preferred modern music anyway.’
After the Second World War, Maisie settled in Portsmouth and had her son, Robin, who she lives with today.
Instead of playing the accordion – which held too many sad memories for Maisie after what happened in Normandy – Maisie started playing piano and continued until she was 90.
Still a big fan of chocolate and cherry wine, Maisie recently had her Covid-19 vaccine and adds she is happy to have got through 2020.