Party for woman born in early days of First World War

CENTURY AGO: Halem Ward who celebrates her 100th birthday pictured as a baby with her older sister Mary and her mother May

YOUNG GIRL: Halem Ward who celebrates her 100th birhtday pictured in her youth

LANDMARK CELEBRATION: Halem Ward who celebrates her 100th birthday at the Salvation Army Hall in Consett Picture: DAVID WOOD

LANDMARK CELEBRATION: Halem Ward who celebrates her 100th birthday at the Salvation Army Hall in Consett Picture: DAVID WOOD

First published in News
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Derwentside & Tyneside)

A WOMAN born days after her father was sent to serve in the First World War has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Halem Ward was born on August 8, 1914, four days after the outbreak of the conflict.

As soon as fighting broke out, her father was sent to the Western Front to serve with the British Army in the medical corps.

It would be two-and-a-half years before Thomas Hall would see his infant daughter in the flesh.

A photograph taken shortly after Mrs Ward’s birth at 22 Gladstone Street, in Consett, shows her pictured with her sister, Mary, who is two years older and her mother, May.

May lived until she was 104 and Mary, who is 102, celebrated with Mrs Ward over the weekend.

Mrs Ward said: “I do not feel any different. I still do the same things I have always done and still like to read magazines.

“I do not remember anything about the First World War because I was too little, but it was supposed to be the war to end all wars. That has not been the case because they are still going on today.”

Mrs Ward, who lives in Leadgate, worked as a cleaner at the Northern Bus Depot, Stanley, and married Thomas Ward, whose father was killed during the war.

Mr Ward served with the RAF during the Second World War and they had a son, Thomas, and she has three grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

On Saturday, a party was held at the Salvation Army Hall, on Sherburn Terrace, Consett, where 90 friends and family gathered to celebrate her long life.

David Jackson, a teacher and musician in Consett, who is Mrs Ward’s second cousin, conducted The Salvation Army Band and Consett Brass at the celebration.

A Sunbeam by Eric Ball was played as it was one Mrs Ward’s late husband’s favourite pieces.

Mr Jackson said: “It was a wonderful day. She was a bit nervous when she got there, but she really enjoys the company of people. It was very good to see.”

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