100-year-old Dulcie who married a day before the Second World War outbreak rings in milestone birthday

Dulcie Reynolds, 100, with her great-great-nieces Gracie (right) and Molly (left). Picture: MIKE COL

Dulcie Reynolds, 100, with her great-great-nieces Gracie (right) and Molly (left). Picture: MIKE COLLARD - Credit: Archant

There was cause for celebration at Redbond Lodge, in Dunmow, last week as one of its residents reached her 100th birthday.

Dulcie Reynolds was born on June 1 1917, and, a century later, was joined by family and friends as she rang in the milestone day.

“She enjoyed it and got to see family members she hasn’t seen for a very long time,” her niece, Rosemary Collard, 73, said.

“She is a very gentle lady and uncomplaining and very sweet-natured. I’ve never heard her say a bad thing about anybody. She was very talented at cooking and needlework, and always made sure everybody had cardigans.”

Dulcie was born in Whyteleafe, in Surrey, and was the youngest of seven children.

She never knew her father, who was killed in the First World War just a week after her birth, but went to visit his grave in Belgium for her 80th birthday.

After finishing school, she started work for an aristocratic family and stayed with them in Surrey until she retired at about 60-years-old, then moving to Dunmow to be nearer her family.

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Dulcie married her late husband Eric in 1939 – just a day before the Second World War broke out – and would later recall seeing doodlebugs, or flying bombs, landing around Surrey.

“During the war, four of us were evacuees and she took us to Wales – me, my sister and two cousins to enable my mother to work,” Mrs Collard added.

“She had no children but she’s loved them all her life and used to look after her nieces, nephews and even neighbours’ children.”

For her birthday, Dulcie received huge bunches of flowers as well as a card from the Queen.

“She was quite thrilled to get a card from the Queen, and she just enjoyed being made a fuss of,” Mrs Collard said.

Asked what she thinks the secret to her aunt’s long life is, she added: “She never seems stressed. Some people seem to stress out but she was always very calm. She’s just a very serene lady.”