A HEREFORDSHIRE 104-year-old has marked her milestone birthday surrounded by friends and family.

Field Farm House resident Norah Burge has celebrated turning 104.

A spokesperson for the home, which is just outside Hereford, described Ms Burge as “a sunflower”, with her way of being “always bright and cheerful.”

“Sunflowers represent a long life and lasting happiness which is absolutely befitting our Norah,” the spokesperson said.

Hereford Times: The birthday girl enjoying her celebrations

Ms Burge was born in Portsmouth on May 19, 1920, and moved to Bournemouth when she was eight, with her older sister, Olive, her parents and an aunt. As a young woman, she trained as a shorthand typist, using this skill when war broke out and joining the Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1942.

Ms Burge went on to serve as a corporal, working as a secretary for a major in the 394 Searchlight Battery, and qualified for the Defence Medal and Victory Medal. She was demobilized in 1946 and worked as a secretary to the town clerk of Bournemouth Town Council for the next 20 years.


A multi-talented woman, Ms Burge enjoyed playing the piano, made most of her clothes herself and, being a keen swimmer, was awarded a bronze medal for life-saving.

Her love for travelling would often take her on holidays to places like Italy, Switzerland, Greece and Malta, and she frequently flew solo on her adventures.

Having moved to Hereford in 1985 to be near her sister and niece, Ms Burge attended Hereford Baptist church regularly until her health and mobility declined, but her faith and contact with visiting church members remain very important to her.

She moved to Field Farm House residential home 18 months ago and, at her birthday celebration, felt “lucky to be here at Field Farm House, everyone here is so nice.”

A devoted, kind and gentle aunt, great aunt and great-great aunt, Ms Burge attributes her long life and good health to her early years of swimming and eating lots of fruit and vegetables throughout her amazingly eventful years.