September 29th, 2016

War nurse Delia marks centenary in Northfield

Updated: 11:27 am, May 07, 2015

A NORTHFIELD woman who was a nurse throughout the Second World War has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Delia Healy, a resident at The Beeches Residential Care Home, said the secret was no alcohol and nice cups of tea.

For her big day Delia’s niece Margaret and her husband Michael, from Lapworth, organised a family party reuniting the birthday girl with 19 of her 30 nieces and nephews from as far afield as America, Ireland and Wales.

Born in Ireland, Delia grew up on her family-run farm and was one of ten children – she and her sister Nora, who is 103 and lives in Wales, are the only surviving siblings.

Delia left school when she 14-years-old to work on the family farm full-time and did not move to Birmingham until 1939 when she got a job at Dudley Road Hospital and trained as a nurse.

In 1950 Delia married her husband Joe and later moved to London to be closer to her family before eventually returning to Birmingham living in Selly Oak and later in Weoley Castle.

The pair were married for 42 years and Delia moved into The Beeches about two years ago.

Although Delia did not have any children, Margaret said she was very much a motherly figure.

She added: “When I was growing up, she was the matriarch of the family and kept everyone informed about what was happening.

“She is a very kind and attentive person, very loving and caring.

“As children auntie Delia would take my brother and I on outings to the coast and when she lived in London she would take her nieces and nephews out and about there.”

Emma Bird, carer at The Beeches, said Delia was an absolutely incredible lady who people would not believe was 100.

She added: “We are so proud to be celebrating this special day with her.

“She is such a pleasure to be around and loves nothing more than having a good natter with the team here and her fellow residents.”

Delia working as a nurse at Dudley Road Hospital (s).