Hilda's 104 years' service in Salvation Army

HildaNewson2008: Norfolk's oldest person, Hilda Newson, has died after an amazing life spanning 109 years and six months, including 104 years of service with the Salvation Army.

She was the third eldest resident in the country and had kept a great sense of humour right until she died peacefully in her sleep on Friday morning ( June 27) at Park House Nursing Home in Yarmouth, where she had lived for 25 years.

Miss Newson - who never married - was born in 1898 and worked in the Yarmouth fishing industry as a “beatster” - making and repairing fishing nets - and was a devout Salvation Army supporter.

She was one of eight children and outlived them all. Her father died when she was just eight years old and her mother died 40 years ago and herself reached her 100th birthday.

Miss Newson celebrated her 109th birthday last December with a party and sang with her beloved tambourine.

At the time her advice to others was: “Always be good and kind to people. I do not take any pills or drugs and still play the tambourine!”

She gave up smoking 40/50 cigarettes a day at the age of 85 years and loved food, especially roast meals with Yorkshire puddings. She drank fruit juice instead of alcohol.

Miss Newson's niece Pauline Newson said: “She was such a lovely lady who had a great sense of humour. She enjoyed a sing-a-long and loved people.”

“Hilda had a close friend at Park House - Lois Evans, who recently died aged 107. We will all miss Hilda so much.”


Park House Manager Carol Riddler said: “It is a very sad day. Everyone will miss

Hilda very much. She had a great sense of humour and enjoyed a bit of fun right to the end. She passed away peacefully in her sleep.”

Her life spanned three centuries and she got 10 birthday cards from the Queen.

Miss Newson was taken by her aunt to a Salvation Army meeting when she was a child and from then on the organisation became a big part of her life.

Four years ago she clocked up 100 years' service with the Salvation Army.

Pictured above is Hilda Newson on her 109th birthday with her trusty tambourine.

Story and picture courtesy of www.edp24.co.uk


Published: 02/07/2008