Neighbours celebrate 100th birthdays

Josie Church and Anne Wallace-Hadrill
Josie Church (left) and Anne Wallace-Hadrill both turned 100 on Monday [BBC]

Two next-door neighbours have celebrated their 100th birthdays on the same day.

Josie Church and Anne Wallace-Hadrill have lived on the same street in Oxford for more than 30 years.

Neighbours, friends and family came together in the street to sing Happy Birthday and wish them well.

Mrs Church said she was "overwhelmed", while Ms Wallace-Hadrill said the party was "fun".

Dot Merritt from the residents' association said: "Both women stand for so much we admire.

"We thought we would do a little something for them and it has grown and grown."

A street party
Neighbours, friends and family celebrated the milestones [BBC]

Ms Wallace-Hadrill, who is living with dementia, served in the Women’s Royal Naval Service as a radio mechanic during the war.

She then became a lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary.

A representative of the Royal Navy presented her with a "long overdue" medal for her service.

Mrs Church and Ms Wallace-Hadrill
Mrs Church (left) was a nurse, while Ms Wallace-Hadrill served in the Women’s Royal Naval Service [Family handout]

Mrs Church had a long career as a nurse and said she remembered a time before the NHS, when people had to pay to see a doctor.

"In those days your health actually depended on your wealth," she said.

Ms Merritt
Ms Merritt said she wanted to do "a little something" for the women [BBC]

Commenting on the celebrations, Mrs Church said: “I am overwhelmed. I feel so lucky. This road is exceptional - everyone is so friendly."

The 100-year-old said there was no secret to her long life.

"I just think, go from one day to the next, do the next thing that is in front of you and get on with it," she said.

Follow BBC South on FacebookX, or Instagram. Send your story ideas to

Related internet links