Saturday, 10 November 2018

'Amazing Grace'

Sunday 11th November is the 100th anniversary commemorating the end of WWl when we remember all of those who were injured or lost their lives in 1918.

 Grace, however, is no war hero, in fact, she despises war and hopes that it will never darken our lives again, but she is keeper of unique memories.
She aptly 'favours' her name being dignified, fair of face, and eloquent.
She was born in Liverpool, but has spent most of her life living here in the Cotswolds. She was brought up by her father as her mother died when she was four years old. She had an elder brother, whom she recalls was a handsome boy with a fine shock of fair hair. When she was 7 years old he left home to live in Australia but she never saw him again. He joined the Anzacs and was killed in action at Gallipoli along with over 8,000 Australian soldiers.
She can remember the day war ended 100 years ago when everyone came out onto the streets singing and dancing. She said that you could do that then as there were very few vehicles driving along the roads.
However, 4 years earlier, an 8 year old Grace learnt that the war had started whilst she was attending school, and vividly recalls wives and mothers crying as they bid farewell to their husbands and sons.
'Amazing Grace', as she is known to her friends is 112 years old, and is the oldest person living in this country. She has experienced the reign of five monarchs and 21 prime ministers. She has seen the outbreak and resolution of two world wars, and lived through the time of the Russian Revolution, the sinking of the Titanic, and all three London Olympics.
When she was born, Grace could have been expected to live until the age of 54. Men had a lower life expectancy of 48. 
In 1906 the most common cause of death was due to infections such as tuberculosis and pneumonia until the discovery of antibiotics in 1929.
Grace still takes a keen interest in how she looks and what she wears and has her hair done every week. 
Grace conveys an aura of calmness and serenity.
The above photo of Grace was taken last September on her 112th birthday

54 comments:

  1. How amazing, I think of the things I've seen in my life time and it's hard to imagine 112 years of memories.

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    1. It is indeed wonderful that she still retains all of these memories but also the fact that she can still express them eloquently. She is fortunate that not only does she appear to be well, but she also has all of her critical faculties intact too.

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  2. Hello Rosemary, Good for Grace for having such a positive attitude and for being such a survivor. My grandparents were probably born around the same time, but did not like talking about the past, of which, like Grace they had seen plenty. I often wish that I had asked them more direct questions!
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - I also have those very same thoughts and now that they are no longer here, there are so many questions I would like to ask them. That generation, and I include my parents generation too, were far less open than we are today.

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  3. She does not look her age. And at that age, she's pretty much beaten anything that would have normally done in most people.

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    1. Seeing her I do not think that you guess her great age.

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  4. Grace is indeed amazing! It's hard to grasp the scope of history that has occurred within her lifetime.

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    1. She is very fortunate that even though she is such a great, she also well aware of what is going on in the world too.

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  5. What a lovely story and how wonderful to be still full of life at 112. A life well lived I feel. B x

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    1. I saw her interviewed recently and it is hard to grasp just how old she actually is. I have several active neighbours in their 90s but she is another 20 years older than them.

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  6. A lovely post Rosemary, and a fine tribute to a lovely lady.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed learning about this remarkable women Polly.

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  7. Rosemary,
    Thank you for sharing Grace's story. She is really very attractive in her birthday photo. She is someone I would really love to meet. Wishing her all the best!

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    1. Dear Catherine - when I saw her interviewed she was extremely positive, very alert, and had no hesitation in answering any of the questions asked of her. She has left a lasting impression on me.

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  8. How wonderful. She doesn't look anywhere near that age and you can tell by the look in her eyes that she is still very alert.

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    1. I will tell you her secret - it is a glass of water at bedtime with just a drop of whisky in it!

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  9. Amazing lady to have lived through all of that and remember.
    Interesting read Rosemary.

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    1. It is no wonder that her friends call her "amazing Grace".

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  10. They must have done something right in those days as people still around from that time, thought not quite as old admittedly, still seem sharp and active. Amazing memories to have. A nice tribute. I know a local lady here of 90 who still goes ballroom dancing and swimming every week. Probably why she still has great balance when walking and moving. People were very active then over many decades to build up that core strength and positive mentality and just kept it up by being busy. Puts my less active generation to shame.

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    1. I have three neighbours who are in their 90s, and all are inspirational. All have very large gardens, and one of them in particular is out there in all weathers cutting the grass, working in his glass house, and planting. I like the way that he dresses in the correct garden outfit for each season, and in particular his straw panama hat and light linen jacket which he wears during the summer.

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  11. Dear Rosemary,

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story and what an amazing Lady.
    To have lived through all this, and to be able to share her life history.
    I have heard of the joy when the war ended with everyone dancing and singing in the street.
    Enjoy your weekend
    hugs
    Carolyn

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    1. I found her inspirational when she appeared on our local tv news programme here in the West country.

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  12. What a beautiful and heart-warming post, and thank you for introducing Grace. She must be almost the only person left alive who remembers this day in 1918. Today I have been thinking of my mother who was born that year, and we went to see the Peter Jackson film 'They Shall Not Grow Old' about WW1. It is confronting but wonderfully made and I am glad we went.

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    1. She also made me think of my own mother too Patricia - she was already an unbelievable 6 years old when my own mother was born, and although my mother died too soon, in her early 60s, she has been gone now for over 40 years. This lady has lived a whole lifetime longer than her.
      Tonight we have 'They Shall Not Grow Old' on our TV, which I am looking forward to seeing. I suspect that it will not look quite so dramatic though as seeing it on a cinema screen.

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  13. What a beautiful tribute , she is looking good and love how she still takes care of her appearance . A true inspiration !

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    1. I thought exactly the same as you Jane - whilst she is fit and able, I hope she still has more time to come.

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  14. How wonderful to remember so much at such a great age! She looks a lovely lady.
    Thank you for posting about her.

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    1. I am pleased that you enjoy reading about Grace - thank you Betty

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  15. Oh what a sweet lady, she looks bright and engaged with the photographer! Was that you Rosemary?
    My mother's name was Grace too, she was born in 1910 and I always refer to her now as "Amazing Grace"!
    What a life your Amazing Grace has lived and wonderful that she can still recall all those memories.
    So sad that she didn't see her brother again, what a loss for her.
    A beautiful post Rosemary.
    xx

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    1. My own mother was born the year after yours, and has already been gone for over 40 years. It is incredible to think that Grace was 5 years old when she was born. Sadly I did not take that photo of her.

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  16. I'm back! I just read your reply to blueskyscotland comment.
    How wonderful to have the three nonagenerians living near you - they are an inspiration!
    I loved hearing that one gentleman wears the appropriate gardening attire of the season to cut the lawns and no doubt hoe his garden!
    Good for him!

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    1. I always know what season we are in when he is working in his garden.

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  17. We have just seen her interview on our news here tonight. Wonderful lady.

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    1. That is really amazing to think that you have seen her on your news.

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  18. She is a real amazing Grace, what a long life to be 112 years old!

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    1. I have three neighbours who are in their early 90s, but it is hard to imagine that this lady is another 20 years older even than them.

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  19. Grace really doesn’t look her age and indeed conveys an aura of calmness and serenity in this picture. Her positive attitude is admirable as information and feelings within her should be known and understood by the people. I’m frustrated with unlearned lessons, especially by some world leaders. Grace made me think of my late grandmothers and mother and what they used to talk.

    Yoko

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    1. As I get older myself Yoko I find it difficult to understand so many things that are happening in our world today, and often feel that it would be good to turn the clock back again. I despair of so many of our world leaders too.

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  20. Dear Rosemary,
    To think what Grace has seen in her lifetime. It was the horse and buggy and now space travel. I wonder, has she written about her life?

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    1. Dear Gina - she has not written a book about her life but you could image that it would be of great interest if she had. She lives not far from here, but I learnt all about her on a TV interview I saw. In fact one of my blog friends has commented that since she read this post she has seen her on her TV in New Zealand.

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  21. Wow she lives to her name of Amazing Grace she certainly doesn't look that age. Her life must have seen so many changes not sure all of them will be for the better! Sarah x

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    1. I wonder what period across the years she would consider to have been the best.

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  22. Oh this is amazing! and she indeed does not look her age, although I have never seen anyone that age!I was just thinking how aviation has advanced since she was born and she must be baffled by the computer world! Thanks for sharing this profile of a lovely lady.

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    1. I have seen many people in their 70s who don't look a fraction as good as Grace.

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  23. Dearest Rosemary,
    Wow, what an age and for being still mentally able to comprehend things as they were and as they are.
    You are so right about nowadays sharing thoughts, writing books about them and so on.
    Back then, our Grandparents just suffered in silence and kept things hidden inside their hearts. Secrets of the heart...
    Just having finished scanning the final (one more box found by Pieter a while ago under the storage of the front porch) letters of my Mom and his Mom, brothers etc. is like a treasure. Especially Mom's letters as she shared her inner thoughts. Not Pieter's Mom, she was from an earlier era where life got accepted as a fate. My great-uncle, a Professor, Priest and advisor to several Bishops in Indonesia, got captured and spent time in a Japanese internment camp. He never ever spoke one word about it...
    Maybe nowadays a lot of people exaggerate on social media by revealing almost everything...
    But the most important thing is sanity till high age!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - it is a great job that you have done scanning all of your family documents to keep them safe for posterity.
      It is true that Grace is certainly a fortunate lady to have lived to such a ripe old age, but also retains all of her critical faculties. Nobody would want to live to her age if they were unable to get up, understand what was going on around them, or enjoy the company of others.

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    2. So glad for having completed the scanning. Not yet all cropped, aligned and dated to file away but that is easy on my MacBook or Mac. Tomorrow I have to start tutoring again at the Technical College. There was a 2 week gap as they wanted to have me on the Part Time payroll instead of outside contractor... We'll see and at least I want to help this one student but don't really want a job with my aging Pieter!
      Both of us have seen aging people that only vegetated and that is awful. We pray that we never have to face that.

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    3. We feel the same Mariette - it is a frightening prospect.

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  24. What a beautiful and inspiring woman! Thank you for sharing her story! She is now on my personal role model list! (If that doesn't sound too conceited!)

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    1. Thank you for visiting Daydreamer - I too find her inspirational.

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  25. I'm late in leaving a comment. We saw Grace on the television news channel the other day. I think it must have been a short recording of a live interview with her. It's fascinating to think of all the events that have happened in her lifetime. Thank you for telling us more about her life. She has a sweet personality and wise words to impart to her listeners. Indeed an inspiring person.

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    1. She is truly an inspirational women, and how wonderful it is that she is so eloquent and remembers so much.

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  26. How delightful and what a beautiful lady! I have worked as a carer of the elderly for the best part of 30 years and it's a job I love so much. Most of our ladies are in their late nineties and our oldest is 107. I love to sit and listen to their wonderful life stories :)

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