106 happy returns for Dilton Marsh woman

Wiltshire Times: Marie Chilcott, of Dilton Marsh, who has just turned 106 years old, pictured with family members from left, sister-in-law Sheila Edwards ,niece Erica van Zoghel, son John Chilcott, daughter Christine Chilcott, and nephews Dirk van Zoghel and Nico van Zogh Marie Chilcott, of Dilton Marsh, who has just turned 106 years old, pictured with family members from left, sister-in-law Sheila Edwards ,niece Erica van Zoghel, son John Chilcott, daughter Christine Chilcott, and nephews Dirk van Zoghel and Nico van Zogh

John Wayne, Katharine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier are just some of the star names born in the same year as Dilton Marsh’s Marie Chilcott, who was 106 on Saturday.

Mrs Chilcott, who was born in Holland in 1907, has lived in the High Street for the last 10 years, after moving to the village from Bath with her daughter, Christine, and her son, John.

She came to England in 1932, to work as a carer for children of a family living in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.

That was where she met her husband, poultry farmer Cecil Chilcott, and she remained in Hertfordshire until Mr Chilcott died, aged 76.

Mrs Chilcott celebrated her birthday with a family gathering, which included three family members from Holland, at her home in Dilton Marsh.

Daughter Christine, 70, said: “It’s amazing really and I don’t think she can quite believe it herself. She has lived for over a century and seen so many changes.

“She can remember going about on horse and carriage and seeing the first cars and first plane.”

In the year she was born, Lord Baden Powell formed the Scout-ing movement, New Zealand became independent from the UK, Rudyard Kipling won the Nobel Prize for literature and 60 suffragettes were arrested after storming the Houses of Parliament.

Mrs Chilcott – who has three children, Christine, John and Pauline, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren – never worked after she married, but her interests included dancing, playing the violin and knitting.

Christine added: “I’m not sure what her secret is, but I think her father grew all the vegetables when she was growing up and she would cycle and walk a great deal during her time in Holland.

“She has always kept fit, never smoked and drank very little.

“She has also had some excellent care, especially from Beck-ington Family Practice and, more recently, Somerset Care.”

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