Four monarchs, 21 prime ministers and 108 happy birthdays for Telford's Gladys

She was alive for the launch of the Titanic, has seen four monarchs on the throne and 21 prime ministers.

Four monarchs, 21 prime ministers and 108 happy birthdays for Telford's Gladys

Gladys Cloke celebrated her 108th birthday this week, and family members say she is still full of life.

Gladys, who moved to Telford from her native Kent in 2012, celebrated the big day on Wednesday with her family at a tea party at Chilcott Gardens sheltered accommodation complex in Madeley.

Among the extended family who were with her was her granddaughter Kimberley Cloke, 31, from Stirchley.

"She's so full of life," Kimberley said. "She's got another few years yet.

"It's incredible knowing she went through the war and has seen so much.

"We had a cake made for her at the tea party. She went outside and enjoyed the sun a little bit as well.

"She has had a good year. She's had ups and downs with illnesses, but she always bounces back."

Gladys Cloke

Gladys worked in a munitions factory during the Second World War, and also spent time in domestic services.

She was married to John for 53 years before his death in 1990, at the age of 75. They had met in a shoe factory just before the outbreak of war.

After the war she left work to concentrate on bringing up the couple’s son, Roy.

Today she has a number of grandchildren, more than 20 great-grandchildren and some great-great-grandchildren.

She maintained a long fascination with aeroplanes.

One of her earliest memories was when she was about six years old, disappearing with her friends to explore an aeroplane which had landed in a field.

She said it had scared her mother because she did not know where Gladys and her friends had gone.

But despite the interest, she has never been on a place.

Gladys Cloke, then aged in her 50s

"My husband didn’t like them," she said. "We went on a lot of holidays to the seaside, we went to places like Torquay.”

Speaking last year, Gladys said there was no secret to a long life.

“I just take each day as it comes,” she said.

“Life was much quieter and slower when I was young, it was not so fast as it is now.”

Gladys was already 101 when she moved to Telford to be close to her family, originally living in Brookside.

Gladys still has a way to go, though, to catch the oldest living person in the UK.

Hilda Clulow of Redditch took the title of confirmed oldest person in the UK earlier this year after the death of previous title holder Olive Boar.

Hilda, 111, was born March 15, 1908.

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