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Lyme Regis: Sisters may set oldest record
EUGENIE Underwood could have made history on her birthday – by becoming one of the sets of three oldest sisters in the country.
Mrs Underwood celebrated her 105th birthday last week at the Bymead House Nursing Home in Charmouth as her family wait for the outcome of their application to the Guinness Book of Records.
Amazingly Mrs Underwood is not the oldest sibling – her older sister Hilda is 107 and her younger sister Mary is a stripling at 98.
Mrs Underwood’s daughter Emily Underwood, 70, of Nettlecombe, said: “She has done very well.
“Her sister Mary is 98 and her other, Hilda, is 108 in October.
“A letter has gone off to the Guinness Book of Records but we haven’t heard back yet.”
Emily lives in Nettlecombe and her sister Janet Cowburn and family live in Bridport.
Emily said: “We had a party at the home. Family members came and we had a nice time.
“They are brilliant at the home and look after her really well.”
Mrs Underwood’s party saw four generations of Eugenie’s family attending, including eight-year-old great-grandson Danny Cowburn.
Bymead House manager Elizabeth Wilson said that it was a great honour to care for a resident of such age.
Mrs Underwood has been living at Bymead for five years after suffering a stroke.
Between the trio of sisters they have 12 children, 17 grandchildren, and 29 great grandchildren and each has outlived her husband. Their parents were well into their 80s when they died.
The sisters are the daughters of farm labourer Harry Wasley and wife Julia and they grew up in a one-bedroom cottage in Gloucestershire The sisters all left school in their early teens to go into service and Mrs Underwood was a housemaid in London before meeting husband Arthur, marrying him in 1940.
The couple worked in stately homes and previously lived in Queen Camel, Somerset, before coming to Dorset to live and work, where Mr Underwood worked as a groom and Mrs Underwood a housemaid on the Crutchley Estate, Nettlecombe.
The couple moved into the village when they retired. Mr Underwood died in 1970.
Mrs Underwood moved to sheltered accommodation in North Allington in the late 1990s before moving into Bymead.