A Sanctuary Care home resident in Shard End celebrated her milestone 103rd birthday last week.
Surrounded by family and fellow residents, Florence Stokes known as Maud celebrated her 103rd birthday on Friday (10 November) at Briarscroft Residential Care Home in Packington Avenue.
When asked her secret to reaching such a great age, the birthday girl said: “My faith in the lord keeps me young and I also used to enjoy the occasional sherry with a raw egg in it.”
Maud grew up in Nechells, Birmingham with parents Minnie and Frank Chapman and her three siblings, brothers Frank and Les and adopted sister Myrtle.
Maud and husband-to-be Henry, known as Harry were childhood sweethearts growing up two doors away from each other. The couple wed in 1938 at St Mary and St John’s Church in Erdington.
During the war, Maud stayed at home to take care of newly born daughter Mary as Harry, who was an engineer served with Air Raid Precautions (ARP), an organisation who protected civilians from the danger of air raids.
As children Mary and son Tony grew, Maud became a home carer for Birmingham City Council, something she continued to do past retirement, volunteering whenever she could.
Harry and Maud were married for almost 60 years. Harry sadly passed away in 1996 with prostate cancer, shortly after their daughter Mary died of pancreatic cancer.
Maud has spent all of her life in Birmingham, living in Erdington and Shard End, where she lived in her own home until December 2013 when she moved into Briarscroft.
Maud and Harry’s family of four has now blossomed to four generations including five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren who are spread out across the globe, living as far afield as Hong Kong and Canada. Son Tony still lives close by with family members also living in Shard End.
Activities leader at the home, Jade Smart said: “Maud is such a strong-willed lady and is such an inspiration to us all, as does definitely not let her age get in the way of what she wants to do!”