Doncaster woman who wanted 105 cards for 105th birthday to celebrate big day

A Doncaster woman who wanted 105 cards to celebrate her 105th birthday will celebrate her big day later today.

By Darren Burke
Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 11:25 am

Hilda Middleton, one of Doncaster’s oldest residents and who once fled the Nazis, called for dozens of cards to mark her milestone.

And she will celebrate with a huge party with friends and family at Bentley Pavilion this afternoon – and has already received dozens of cards, including one from The Queen.

Her mum gave birth to 22 children but sadly, only 11 lived.

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Hilda Middleton is celebrating her 105th birthday today.

As she grew up, she joined the Royal Navy and became a Wren and during World War 2 she worked in an ammunitions factory, helping in the building of tank wheels.

During the Blitz, she lived on Plymouth Hoe and lost three properties due to bombing.

Great-grand-daughter Hayley Twiby said: “She would watch the Spitfires fighting the Germans in mid air over the Channel.

"She recalled on many occasions hearing the Germans coming over and then hearing the Spitfires coming to intercept them.

"She would watch from her window, seeing the sky light with the bombs and the bullets that were flying across.

"She spent many nights in the bomb shelters listening to the fighting up above.

"She also tells of when she and husband Joseph had to run for their lives because a German bomber was chasing them, firing bullets at them and they managed to run to safety into a bomb shelter."

A war bride, the couple had two children, Brian who was born in 1944 and 12 months later John.

Her husband was away a lot of the time during the war and Hayley added: “It was extremely difficult for her because she had to cope with all that the war entailed as well as being left with babies.

"Nan has worked hard all her working life - she did many different jobs including working at Bassetts sweet factory and various cleaning jobs.

"She became a foster parent and for many years she fostered children from all walks of life - some had come from very bad backgrounds but she looked after them like she did her own."

In 1978, at the age of 61 she fostered her own four grandchildren and lived independently on her own with her dog until the grand old age of 103.

She has eight grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren and numerous great, great grandchildren and counting.

After retiring, she travelled all over the world, cruising around the globe and telling relatives: “I don't know where to go next, I’ve been everywhere."

And the secret of a long life?

Hayley said: “Nan has always sworn by a tot of whiskey in her tea in a morning and sometimes a glass of Baileys at night.

"She enjoyed a good family party and was always up for fun. She has always worked hard throughout her life, she has always been a strong independent woman and an inspiration to the family.”

She added: "Her biggest wish is to receive 105 birthday cards.

"We would love it if we could make this happen.”