A Southport care home resident who survived three separate Nazi bombings and gave birth during the Blitz turned 100-years-old today, Tuesday February 9 2016.
Centenarian Hilda Collins was joined by close family, friends and the Mayor Of Sefton at Lyndale Nursing Home on Rawlinson Road yesterday as she celebrated turning a hundred – an exceptionally impressive feat considering Hilda survived three Nazi bombing raids and gave birth in darkness during the Manchester Blitz.
Born in Trafford in 1916, Hilda started her adult life working as a Clerk for JD Williams of Manchester before meeting and subsequently falling in love with her future husband Alfred, whom she married in 1939.
However the honeymoon was put on hold as Alf, an RAF Pilot, was conscripted to Malta where he would help fight against the Axis forces sweeping Europe.
Back home in Manchester a brave and heavily pregnant Hilda had no idea what was in store for her when she went into labour – on the same night a Nazi Luftwaffe raiding party started their bombing campaign later known as the Manchester Blitz.
Giving birth with a tin bowl on her head as a makeshift helmet, her first child David was welcomed into the world quite literally with a bang as explosions rained overhead.
If that wasn’t enough for Hilda and her newborn son, she was forced to move house an astonishing three times after all three of her previous homes were blown up by the Nazis.
Soon after the war ended and Alfred returned to England, the family chose to up sticks and settle in Cheshire where Hilda gave birth to her second child June.
Hilda and Alf raised their family in the quieter surroundings of rural Cheshire until both children had flown the nest – it was then, thirty years ago, that the couple decided they would retire and move to Southport.
During their retirement and up until Alfred’s death, the duo were keen golf and bridge players, with Hilda actually teaching the latter to her friends and neighbours.
She finally gave up teaching Bridge at the age of 92 and moved into Lyndale.
Care Home Office Manager Nyree Roberts told our reporter: “Hilda had a wonderful day and she was delighted to receive her telegram from the Queen.
“All her friends and family, as well as staff from the home and Mayor Stephen Kermode sang happy birthday to her and gave her three big cheers for reaching such an incredible milestone!”
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