Centenarian celebrates with a meal

S31218H13 Centenarian Louisa Delves with her sister, Pat Boniface, 85, at the birthday party

S31218H13 Centenarian Louisa Delves with her sister, Pat Boniface, 85, at the birthday party

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FAMILY and friends gathered at Carats Café, on Southwick beach, to celebrate the 100th birthday of Mrs Louisa Delves.

Known as Lou, or Lou-Lou, Mrs Delves has lived in the town all her life, having been born on July 31, 1913.

She was the second eldest of 14 children, but only she and her sister, Pat, 85, are still alive.

Twice married, her first husband, Albert, was killed in action in the second world war in North Africa and the second died naturally.

Her niece, Valerie Grafham, said: “She still lives on her own and is in reasonably good health.”

Mrs Delves had two children. The eldest, Jean, died of throat cancer and her brother, Steven, died in a hit-and-run motorbike accident at the age of 18.

Balloons decorated the tables at Carats as guests tucked into a birthday meal with Mrs Delves.

Her sister, Pat Boniface, said she couldn’t believe that out of 14 children, only two of them were left.

She said they had grown up in Southwick and she remembered regular trips to the beach when Jean was a baby.

“Lou always took me with her,” said Pat, adding that she always loved the picnics they shared.