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Great-Great Grandmother Celebrates 102nd Birthday at West Sussex Care Home

A West Sussex care home resident has celebrated her 102nd birthday with family and friends.

Ellen Bolger was joined by residents and staff at Deerswood Lodge care home in Crawley for a birthday celebration.

Born in County Wexford in Ireland, Ellen was the only girl of a family of five. The family moved to Ireland when Ellen was five.

Ellen met Patrick, her husband, in Dublin in 1942 when he was a chef in the army. They married and went on to have seven children – four boys and three girls.

They moved to England in 1967 and both started working in a reformed school for boys in West Grinstead – Patrick as a chef and Ellen doing domestic work. She then went on to study to become a residential social worker, a job that she loved.

Then, in 1978, the pair returned to Ireland for a couple of years before Patrick sadly passed away and Ellen returned to England to live with her daughter in Horsham.

Ellen, who has 23 grandchildren, 44 great grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren says that her secret to longevity is “a tipple of whiskey.”

Wan Illman, service manager of the Shaw healthcare-operated home, said: “Ellen is an absolute delight to have around. She is very popular amongst other residents and we love listening to her stories. I’m so pleased we were able to be a part of her special day as she is like our family.”