The independent London newspaper

Happy 101st birthday! Former World War II nurse Joan West celebrates in style

16 October, 2017

JOAN West, a former World War II nurse and Agatha Christie fan, has celebrated her 101st birthday in style with friends and family.

The legendary Royal Free volunteer – who worked at the Hampstead hospital until she was 96 – enjoyed a slice of cake and a folk music singsong with friends and staff at the Rose Bush Court, in Belsize Park.

Care home manager Fatima said: “It was a lovely day. There were 56 residents there and they were all popping in to see her.”

The party followed a birthday treat three days earlier when she had high tea in the West End with her granddaughter. Joan keeps fit with chair-based exercise classes and tai chi. Known among her friends as a bit of a joker, she told the New Journal on her 100th birthday that one of the secrets of longevity was never drinking or smoking, adding: “But I do like a salad with sugar on it”.

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