Our Mother was born in Cadoxton, near Cardiff, in February 1909, five months before the pioneering French aviator, Louis Blériot, flew across the English Channel; later she flew on Concorde, such is the span of her extraordinary life.
She recalls a party for army officers at the declaration of war in 1914. Her father, an engineering Colonel, took the family to France immediately after the war. His job was to clear equipment from the battle-fields, which she saw at first hand as she went to school in France.
At 17, Mother was given her first car, a brand new Austin 7, and collected her driving licence from the Post Office. (No driving test then). She was to drive every kind of vehicle from a Rolls Royce to a Three-Ton tanker in a driving career that lasted until she was 103. She still misses driving!
During that time, she taught dozens of people to drive and became a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, taking her test in an aged Bentley. Mother was much in demand teaching the art of double-de-clutching!
Married to our father, John, in 1931, they had two children, Sheila and Graham.
Mother was in the WVS (Women’s Voluntary Service) in the Second World War and helped out at Kingwood Camp, a hospital for German troops, guarded and run by the Americans. The WVS became the WRVS and soon Mother was involved with the Food Flying Squad whose convoys of trucks took food and water to disaster areas.
From 1954 to 1979 she serviced on Peppard Parish Council. She was also Secretary of the local Conservative Association and a founder member of the Friends of Kingwood which fought successfully to save the Common from housing development after the war.
Awarded the MBE for her work in the Civil Defence, Mother has lived in the area since 1923 when her father rented The Chalet in Peppard. She now lives in the house she and our father built in the late 1930s and, happily, enjoys good health.
Sheila and Graham Walker