Dunmow great-great-grandmother turns 100

Gwen celebrates her 100th birthday with her daughter Monica Gardner (right), granddaughter Amanda Wo

Gwen celebrates her 100th birthday with her daughter Monica Gardner (right), granddaughter Amanda Woolmer, grandson Mark Gardner and great-granddaughter Grace-Rose Gardner. - Credit: Archant

A great-great-grandmother from Great Dunmow has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Gwen Ponder marked her centenary last Wednesday (September 23) with a birthday cake and a special tea on her big day.

As well as many cards from her friends and family, she received the traditional happy birthday greetings from Her Majesty the Queen, and a telegram from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan-Smith.

When asked what her secret to a long life was, Gwen laughed and said she did not know – but she did mention that she ate an apple every day.

She also said the help from her daughter, Monica, was essential to her life.

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Born in Deptford, during the First World War, as the youngest of six children, Gwen moved to Dunmow in 1959 with her husband Basil who had served in the Second World War before becoming a police officer.

The couple were married for 60 years. Basil died shortly after their diamond wedding anniversary.

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Gwen, who worked as a cashier for several local businesses, has been a resident at Alan Hasler House, sheltered housing scheme for 17 years. She has four grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

The district’s sheltered housing officer, Jean Overton said: “Gwen is known as Lady Gwen because she is really is a special lady and a wonderful person. I am so pleased she is one of our residents.”

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