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100th birthday party for Freda

Freda Dewey celebrates her 100th birthday with her family at Lister House in Ripon. (S)

Freda Dewey celebrates her 100th birthday with her family at Lister House in Ripon. (S)

A former shopkeeper who drove for the Admiralty during the Second World War has celebrated her 100th birthday with family in Ripon.

Freda Dewey, who turned 100 on Sunday, August 31, marked her centenary with a party at her home – the Royal British Legion care home Lister House.

The party was followed with the ringing of Ripon Cathedral’s bells prior to Evensong with Freda’s daughter, Jo, among the bellringers, and the cathedral choir singing Happy Birthday to the centenarian.

Freda was born in Portsmouth in 1914 and also lived in the Isle of Man before moving to the Ripon area six years ago.

She opened a sweet shop at the age of 17, a photograph of which was featured on her special birthday cake at Lister House.

Freda married her first husband, Lesley Knight in Portsdown,Portsmouth, in 1939 but the bomber pilot was killed during the Second World War in 1943.

During the Second World War, Freda drove for the Admiralty while the D-Day landings were being planned in Portsmouth.

Her second marriage to Dudley Dewey in 1946 would last 54 years.

The couple were early members of the Caravan Club and during their retirement years travelled widely with a caravan and then motorhome, Freda having got her licence at 17 before driving tests were necessary.

She has two children – Jo and Michael, five grandchildren – Andrew, Fergus, Emma, Katherine and Alex – plus 12 great-grandchildren whose ages range from seven months to 15 years.

 

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