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Winchcombe Place resident reveals the secret to staying healthy as he celebrates 103rd birthday

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A resident at Winchcombe Place celebrated his 103rd birthday and revealed the secret to living a long and happy life.

Birthday celebrations were in full swing at Winchcombe Place when resident John Lill celebrated his 103rd birthday. John turned 103 years ‘young’ on the 8th March, and revealed the secret to staying healthy is simple: to exercise plenty.

To celebrate his milestone birthday, John was joined by family, friends and residents for a party hosted by the team at the care home. Soldiers from the Royal School of Military Survey as well as the local British Legion branch standard bearer were also in attendance to celebrate one of the oldest ex-service men in Berkshire’s birthday.

John was born on 8th March 1915 in Sheffield. He joined an architecture firm Websters at the age of 14 and studied to qualify as an architect by taking evening classes at Sheffield University, rising to eventually take over the company. He had worked there for over 50 years before retiring aged 67 and moving to Hermitage to be near his daughters. His grandson has now followed his footsteps and is also an architect.

John served his country during the war as a royal engineer for five years and enjoyed every single one of them, despite the often perilous conditions. He was sent to serve in Libya, where he aided the intelligence by surveying and providing plans of the terrain. John also served in Palestine, Italy, and Berlin. His beloved older brother served in the Royal Medical Corps during the first war as well and John remembers him coming home on leave. Five days after returning home, he married Eileen and they had two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary. He has three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

An art-lover, John enjoys singing and was a choir boy in his younger years. He used to play a lot of tennis and also enjoyed fly-fishing. He is a lifelong supporter of Sheffield United Football Club.

Cliff Hutchings, home manager at Winchcombe Place, said: “Residents are at the heart of everything we do here at Winchcombe Place, and we always take the time to celebrate special days like birthdays to ensure the residents feel at home. It was wonderful to celebrate such an incredible milestone with John. We held a special party and John was thrilled to receive a visit from soldiers from the Royal School of Military Survey.”


Open to new residents

Maple Crescent, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 1LN

Winchcombe Place

CQC Rating: Good
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Nursing care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Day club

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