Woman celebrates 110th birthday

Every birthday is a surprise for a Leamington resident who turned 110 this week.

Annie Elizabeth Butler celebrated her birthday on Monday - making her one of the oldest people in the country.

Mrs Butler, who still lives alone and cooks for herself, has lived through two World Wars, the invention of the television and witnessed technology transform the world.

She was born in Barford in 1897 during the reign of Queen Victoria while Lord Salisbury was Prime Minister.

She moved to Warwick after marrying Edward in 1922. The couple lived there for 20 years with son Peter, who is now in his 70s.

Mrs Butler, nee Allen, was a trained tailor and her husband worked as a dispatch rider in the First World War. They later lived in Whitnash until Mr Butler retired in the 1960s.

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The couple then moved to New Milton near Bourne- mouth and Mrs Butler decided to return to Leamington, where she still lives in her own flat, after her husband died 22 years ago.

She receives a telegram from the Queen every year to celebrate her birthday.

Mrs Butler said: "I am surprised to still be around. I think I must be one of the oldest people in England."

Peter Butler is now retired and lives in Leamington. He believes his mother's long life could be down to a clean-living lifestyle and said: "She has never smoked or drunk except a little drop of sherry.

"She is amazed she has lasted so long and is always telling us she will not see her next birthday."

Mrs Butler marked the occasion with a family party and was visited by her son, four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Britain's oldest woman is Florence Emily Baldwin who celebrated her 111th birthday in March this year.

She was born on March 31 1896, whereas Leamington's Annie Butler was born on June 4th 1897.

Britain's oldest man Henry Allingham celebrated his 111th birthday on Wednesday. Mr Allingham, who lives in Sussex, is one of the three known British First World War survivors.

The oldest person ever to live in Britain was Charlotte Hughes. She died in 1993 aged 115.

The world's oldest person Jeanne Calment from France, died in 1997, aged 122.