Obituary: 105-year-old who outlived eldest sibling by five months
- Credit: Supplied by family
The long life of 105-year-old Ruth Davies has been described as one that was “well-lived”.
From humble beginnings at the centre of a large family to taking her chances during the Second World War, Mrs Davies was a much-loved woman among all who knew her.
Born Ruth Laight on October 4, 1916, in Acle, near Great Yarmouth, during the middle of the First World War.
The fourth child of Edward and Beatty (short for Beatrice) Laight, and had two elder sisters and an elder brother. Mr Laight was the local postman and also ran a smallholding from their cottage near the town’s folly tree.
She became the fourth of eleven children - seven girls and four boys - and would take charge of her younger siblings as they grew up.
She left home aged 15 and became a nanny looking after young children, mainly in the London area. She remained very fond of children all her life. The Second World War caused her to leave that role and take up war work in London.
Her family said: “She was always claustrophobic and refused to take to bomb shelters, choosing to rather stay in her attic bedsit and take her chances.
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“She corresponded with her brothers who were all in the services and her two elder sisters who were nursing and would look after them when they were sent home on leave.”
Mrs Davies met her husband Eric after the war while working in the same firm in London and they eventually settled in Sidcup, Kent. After Mr Davies died in 1971, she retired and moved to Norwich to be closer to her relatives, eventually returning to Acle in 1993.
The family added: “She always had a smile and a welcome, and would immediately want to know what you'd been up to.
“However old she became she was always happy when children were around. She would listen to what they had to say, and sometimes would swap stories about her own childhood.”
Mrs Davies died on March 30 at home with her family by her side, as was her wish. She was aged 105 and six months – and affectionately proud of outliving her eldest sister Mada, who “only” made it to 105 and one months.