Alice celebrates big day with her family

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A great-great grandmother celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends in Adderbury on Sunday.

Alice Stretton, nee Benson, was born on August 10, 1914 in Spennymoor, County Durham, the youngest of three children to mother Alice and father Nathan.

Thirty family members enjoyed a gathering at Lake House Care Home to mark the milestone. She also got a telegram from Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith MP and a birthday card from the Queen.

After her father died at the Battle of Arras during the First World War, and her mother died during the great influenza epidemic of 1918, Mrs Stretton was adopted by her mother’s sister Judith Keirl.

As a teenager she always wanted to be a nurse, but when two of her friends who were nurses died of tuberculosis, Mrs Stretton came to Swalcliffe into household service in 1930 at the age of 16.

She was employed at Swalcliffe Park House and put in charge of the house dogs and whilst out walking she met her husband-to-be Joe Stretton.

The couple were married in 1936 and moved to Bodicote in 1956, living at various addresses.

Mr Stretton was a site foreman for building firm Hinkins & Frewin and was also a well-known bellringer in the area, being tower captain at St Mary’s Church in Banbury for 22 years. He died in 1972.

Mrs Stretton was a treasurer of 7th Banbury Cubs, associate member of the Bodicote Royal British Legion and a life-time member of the Bodicote Mother’s Union.

She moved into Lake House in 2008 and has three sons, twins Geoffrey and Peter, and Christopher, eight grandchildren, ten great grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.

Geoffrey said: “Our mother has had a lovely party in Lake House and our grateful thanks go to all the staff here.”