Wiltshire Publications

Birthday celebrations for 100-year-old!

Story posted on

DILTON Marsh woman, Joan Freegard, recently celebrated her 100th birthday. She was surrounded by friends and family on Friday 24th June who all came to congratulate her on reaching the impressive age of 100! 

Still going strong at 100, Joan Freegard.

Joan was treated to plenty of cakes and gifts, but the true icing on the cake was receiving a special birthday message in a card from the Queen. 

When asked for the secret of reaching 100, Joan said, “I behaved myself!” 

The popular lady was also treated to a birthday party the next day at her home in Dilton Marsh, where even more friends and neighbours came out to celebrate with her. 

Joan’s story 

Joan moved to Dilton Marsh from Bath with her family at the age of four and she attended Westbury Senior School until the age of 14. Joan then started working at the Boulton glove factory immediately after, however her life changed following the outbreak of WW2 and she transferred to assembling torpedoes at Hadens munitions factory in Trowbridge until the end of the war.  

Joan continued working at Boultons until the age of 52 when the business was sold to Dents and she was subsequently made redundant. Joan says that one of her lasting memories whilst working there was seeing Queen Mary who visited the factory. 

After a short break, Joan found new employment with Henleys Medical Supplies in Westbury where she worked happily until her retirement in 1982. 

In 1972, Joan and her mother Edith moved into Lyes Grove, Dilton Marsh. 

Joan had been an active member of the Baptist church, initially worshipping at Penknap, before becoming a member of Stormore Baptist Church and Westbury Leigh Chapel, where she attended  up until the Covid lockdown of 2020. 

Joan became a Sunday School teacher at the age of 16 before becoming superintendent of the Sunday School at Stormore and her family say that numerous children in the village, over a long period of time, were grateful for the kindness, caring, and attention which she always showed them. 

Her extended family now consists of nieces, nephews, great, great-great, and great-great-great grand-nieces and nephews – many of whom attended the celebration party in Dilton Marsh.