A Shropshire grandmother who survived two world wars says living an ‘ordinary’ life and keeping fit is the secret to longevity.
Gladys Jarvis has just celebrated her 105th birthday making her one of the oldest living people in Shropshire.
Born just one year after the start of World War One on February 27, 1915, in Middlesex along with her identical twin Edith, Mrs Jarvis, now a resident at Stone House in Bishops Castle, said she’d lived a very normal but happy life.
She grew up in Staines and was educated at Staines Elementary School until the age of 14.
After leaving school she got her first and only job as a seamstress making nurses aprons, butcher’s aprons, coats and shrouds.
Ten years later, aged 24 and during the same year as the Second World War broke out, she married her husband Walter Thomas Jarvis.
She fondly remembers meeting Mr Jarvis, an engineer at the time, at a ‘village hop’ where they both enjoyed dancing the Waltz and Foxtrot together.
The couple had two children together and some years later in 1988 moved to Shropshire where they set up home in Preston Street near the centre of Shrewsbury.
Daughter Valerie lives nearby in Knighton and Mrs Jarvis, who survives her husband, also has four grandchildren, who are in their late 40s.
Asked for her secret to a long and happy life, Mrs Jarvis, said: “There isn’t one really. I’ve just lived a normal, ordinary life. I went to school, I went to work, got married and had children.
“I didn’t have expensive toys, just a bat and ball and skipping rope. My life has been normal. I went shopping and did the house work and I’ve been very, very happy. I had good parents, a good husband and good children.
“I’ve always enjoyed sewing, knitting and keep fit and I still do one class a week even now.”
Staff and residents at Stone House, which is run by not-for-profit organisation Coverage Care Services, helped Mrs Jarvis celebrate her milestone birthday with cake and flowers.
She also received a card from The Queen congratulating her on her 105th birthday.
Jodie Griffiths, who works as an administrator at Stone House, said: “Mrs Jarvis had a lovely day celebrating with family and friends here at the home. It’s an honour to have Mrs Jarvis in our care. She has a brilliant sense of humour and is extremely well liked by everyone.”