Meet Dilys Armistice, Hassocks woman who turns 100 on Remembrance Day

Dilys Armistice Fox from Hassocks has expressed her joy at turning 100 years old this Remembrance Sunday.

Thursday, 8th November 2018, 9:10 am
Updated Thursday, 8th November 2018, 9:11 am

Asking her how she felt about having the special birthday and name – she replied: “It makes me feel very happy. I feel so sorry for these people that have lost loved ones in the war.”

Dilys was born on November 11, 1918, in Bargoed Wales – the day the Armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany ending the First World War.

Dilys Armistice Fox will turn 100 this Sunday. Photo by Steve Robards

She will be celebrating her birthday on Sunday with cake at Villa Adastra care home in Keymer Road, where she has lived for more than five years, and is much-loved by staff and friends.

Dilys moved to the south when she was 17. She lived in Tunbridge Wells for 44 years, before moving to Villa Adastra, which is run by The Salvation Army.

She had a ‘very happy marriage’ to her husband Henry, who was in the RAF. He died from a heart attack in his 70s.

The couple used to go to the same church as the Queen, when Henry was head gardener at Windsor Park Gardens.

Dilys told the Middy: “She used to walk past us and would say ‘good morning’ – we would bow our heads out of courtesy.”

The couple did not have any children. Dilys said it unfortunately never happened, but her love of children led her to become a nanny.

Being independent has helped her reach the great milestone. She said: ”I have always been very independent and I like my own company. I have had health problems just like everyone else. I had breast cancer 25 years ago and had a double mastectomy.”

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At the care home, Dilys spends her time crochet making and every time a new resident moves in she makes them a blanket. She also collects owls and loves cats.

One of four children, she became an aunt aged just nine. Her nephew, David Evans, aged 90, is still alive.

Sharon Bacon, head of care at Villa Adastra, said: “I have known Dilys since she moved in. She is one of the characters here and she is part of the furniture now.

“She is the second longest-standing resident. I have never ever heard of anybody with that middle name before. It is quite unique.

“Dilys still does all her own care, we only help with wheeling her meals down and the cooking and cleaning.

“Her health has been up and down and she has seen people come and go.

“She has got some lovely friends here, she has a best friend June, who has said she will be with her when she gets to end of life care, so she doesn’t pass away alone.”