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Surbiton resident celebrates 100th birthday

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Centenarian Joan, with son Charles and her birthday card from The King and Queen

A Royal Star & Garter resident in Surbiton has celebrated her 100th birthday.


Joan Roscorla was treated to a special lunch with family, before the Home threw her a tea party, with live music entertainment, on her birthday on Wednesday, 10 April.


Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia, and also has Homes in Solihull and High Wycombe. The charity has recently launched new services to reach out into the community.


Joan was born in Staffordshire, and during WWII worked as a civilian wages clerk for contractors who were building an RAF aerodrome in Derbyshire.

A photo of Joan, taken in 1941

She married her husband Halsey, who she had met at a dance in 1946, and they settled in Wales. He had just left the RAF, where he was a WWII pilot, and the couple had two children. Halsey, who sadly died in 1966, rarely spoke to his family about his time in the service.


But many years after his death, the Roscorla family discovered that Halsey had helped fly young orphan survivors of Nazi concentration camps to the UK, from Prague, for a new life. This group of children would become known as The Boys, and went on to build successful lives around the world.


In later life, Joan enjoyed spending time on her allotments. The great-grandmother also learned dressmaking, and on her daughter’s wedding day made a bridal gown and bridesmaid dresses.

Daughter-in-law Martine shows Joan her special birthday card from King Charles III and Queen Camilla

On her 100th birthday, Joan, who is living with dementia, enjoyed a lunch with family, including son Charles and grandchildren. This was followed by a tea party, where she celebrated with other residents and staff, with live music put on by the Not Forgotten Association.


Joan also received a birthday card from Their Majesties The King and Queen.


‘Staff made her feel special… just as they do every day’


Afterwards, her son Charles said: “Mum has had a wonderful time. She enjoyed spending the day with her family, and she loved the tea party afterwards. Staff made her feel special, loved and looked after, just as they do every day.”


Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton is welcoming new residents. For more information on this, the new services running from the Home, or to work there, go to

Joan’s husband Halsey was an RAF pilot during WWII
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