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Air Force veteran Phyllis celebrates 100th birthday at Royal Star & Garter

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Phyllis celebrating her 100th birthday

An Air Force veteran who served during WWII has celebrated her 100th birthday.


Phyllis Hales had family and friends join her for an afternoon garden party at Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton, on Thursday, 30 June.


The charity provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia, and also has Homes in Solihull and High Wycombe.

Phyllis, joined by daughter Jill and son Nigel

Phyllis has been a resident at Royal Star & Garter since 2017. Among those attending the party were daughter Jill, son Nigel and grandchildren. The guests gathered in the Surbiton Home’s new garden room, which had been decorated with birthday bunting and special ‘100’ balloons.


Service at 19


Phyllis was born in London and did clerical work at a bookbinders before joining the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) in 1942, at the age of 19. She continued doing clerical work while serving in the military, and following the war, was stationed for six months in Belgium and Germany. She demobbed in 1946, before working for British European Airways, and later as a headmaster’s secretary.


The centenarian used to raise money for the RAF Association (RAFA), and received a letter from the organisation, thanking Phyllis for her support and congratulating her on reaching 100. She also received a birthday card from Her Majesty The Queen.

Phyllis served in the WAAF between 1942-1946

Daughter Jill said afterwards: “We’re really grateful to Royal Star & Garter staff who enabled us to have the party in the lovely garden room. Mum really appreciated it too, and I don’t think there’s a better place for her to celebrate. She loves the Home and we are grateful for all that staff do for her. I think being at Royal Star & Garter has not just prolonged her life, it’s given her a better quality of life.”


Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton is welcoming new residents. For more information on this, or to work for the charity, go to

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