A remarkable centenarian who was born during the First World War has celebrated her 105th birthday with a party and afternoon tea.

Edna Walmsley marked the milestone birthday on Saturday, October 9, at Pendle Brook Care Home in Oswaldtwistle.

The former school cook, who still has an “amazing” memory recall, enjoyed yoga well into her late 90s, and only moved into Pendle Brook last year after spending her whole life in Great Harwood, lately with the support of her family.

The great-grandmother was born Edna Dobson in 1916 in Great Harwood, and was married at St Bartholomew’s Church to Clifford Walmsley.

She has lived through some momentous historical events, including two World Wars, the 1919 flu pandemic and most recently the Covid pandemic.

Edna loved Great Harwood - where she brought up three children, Alyson, Adrienne and Andrew, and thoroughly enjoyed her work as a school cook along with the company of her colleagues.

Her passion has always been for reading - especially for poetry - reflecting an enduring love for language.

Activity co-ordinator Claire Rothwell said: “She has an amazing long term memory and is able to recite, word for word, poetry which she learnt as a child.”

Another passionate interest has been cooking and baking, and Edna made the most delicious cakes well into her 90s.

She has enjoyed travelling too, both in this country and worldwide, visiting Vienna and Dusseldorf following her first foreign experience, travelling by herself to India.

She has three grandsons, Stephen, Nicholas and Christopher, and four great-grandchildren, Freddie, Alice, Jack and Finn.

As well as a party tea, Edna opened her cards and presents, received a telegram from HM Queen Elizabeth, and enjoyed a delicious birthday cake.

Claire said she still has a keen eye and sense of humour, and is “an absolute pleasure” to be with.

“She is a truly remarkable person who is dearly loved by her family and friends,” she said.

“It has been a privilege to share Edna’s 105th birthday with her and see the pleasure she got from the cards and gifts she received. She can’t quite believe she is 105 and attributes it to good living, healthy eating and a wonderful upbringing by her parents.”

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