A DORSET woman has celebrated her 111th birthday Sarah Lillian Priest celebrated her landmark on November 7, making her one of the oldest people in the country.

Born in 1908, Mrs Priest, known as Lillian, has lived through two World Wars and witnessed the ever-evolving world first hand.

Now a resident of York House care home in Swanage, Lillian celebrates her birthdays with fellow residents, staff and family.

Manager of York House, Beverly Fluin said: “Every year it’s been a great achievement for Lillian.

“Her card will arrive from the Queen. She’s had one every year since she was 100 years old.”

Lillian’s daughter Wendy, said: “It’s very difficult to believe, but it’s outstanding. Whenever I tell people her age their mouths drop in shock.

“But when you see someone practically everyday, you’re not as surprised and it’s normal.

“She hasn’t got a secret, but she grew up in South Wales so the fresh mountain air probably helped.

“Her sister is 108, so it’s probably strong genes too.”

Being active throughout her life is also a contributing factor to Lillian’s age.

Until her early 80s, Lillian frequently played tennis in Swanage and walked everywhere, “My father never had a car, so they always walked,” Wendy explained.

Beverly Fluin added: “She can talk for England, mainly about her past history which is always very interesting.”

Lillian’s plans for her birthday involved having supper with fellow residents, staff and family.

Eating cake was also on the agenda, as well opening birthday cards with her family.

Wendy said: “Mum didn’t want a big party, she simply said to me ‘I don’t want a fuss, you can just come for tea’ so that is our plan.”

Lillian has two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren who will also be celebrating her birthday.

“In some ways mum has had a tough life,” said Wendy “But she’s made of strong stuff.”