'Outgoing and social' Dorothy turns 100

Dorothy May Carter turned 100 on April 9, and was presented with her card from the Queen by an Elvis impersonator.

Dorothy May Carter turned 100 on April 9, and was presented with her card from the Queen by an Elvis impersonator. - Credit: Laura Robertson / Archant

A World War Two fire watcher has marked her 100th birthday with a visit from "The King" to deliver her card from the Queen.

Dorothy May Carter, who was born in Essex, has now settled into life across the border in Suffolk, and enjoyed a party held at Mill Lane Residential Home in Felixstowe, and then a celebration with family at the Dooley Inn. 

She was born Dorothy May Sansom on April 9, 1922 in Woodford Green. 

“During the Second World War, Mum was a fire watcher,” said son Les.  

“This means, after work, they would go onto the roofs, and look for incendiary devices that had been dropped, and then they would set the alarm for the fire brigade.” 

Dorothy worked several jobs before meeting her future husband, Fred Carter. 

“They were to be married on June 6, 1945, just as the war was ending,” said Les, so the marriage was a celebration in more ways than one. 

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Their first child, Allen, was born in 1947, and their second, Les, in 1950. 

For many years, Dorothy worked in the kitchen at the local primary school, Buckhurst Primary School. 

“She’d go and help the children with their cooking,” explained Les. 

“As an acknowledgement to her service, they actually named one of the school houses after her, so there was a ‘Carter House.’" 

Sadly, Fred died in 1987. 

Dorothy kept busy, and in 1995 began volunteering at her local post-natal clinic, where she helped to weigh the newborn babies. She continued this until around 2010. 

When Dorothy began needing more support, she moved to Suffolk to be closer to Les and his wife, Cindy. 

She now lives in Mill Lane Residential Home in Felixstowe. 

“She’s fitted in a treat,” said Les. “She’s very outgoing and sociable. A while ago at the home, I walked in and she was teaching all the young staff to knit!” 

On Friday April 8, Kelly and the team at Mill Lane arranged a party for Dorothy, with local children from Grange Primary School invited to sing her a happy birthday. 

Dorothy was presented her card from the Queen by Elvis tribute act Andy Ottley.

“His words were, ‘the Queen can’t make it, so the King is here instead!’ said Les. 

Dorothy was surrounded by her family. Allen had sadly died in 2017 after a long illness, but she was joined by his wife, Les and his wife, Cindy, five granddaughters and nine great-grandchildren.