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13 November 2014

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You are in: Tyne > People > Your Stories > A remarkable life

Eunice Bowman

Eunice was born on 23 August 1898

A remarkable life

Eunice Bowman celebrated her 110th birthday in 2008 after an incredible life which has spanned three different centuries.

When Eunice Bowman was joined by friends and family to celebrate her 110th birthday, she probably wondered what all the fuss was about.

She reached the magnificent landmark on 23 August 2008 and a party was held in her honour at Hillside Grange Care Home, in Gateshead.

Her daughter Ann Berry said: "She doesn't like a lot of fuss. We had a big party when she was 100. But she doesn't think she should have all this fuss."

Annie, Eunice and Thomas

Eunice with sister Annie and brother Thomas

But of course everyone else thinks there should be an awful lot of fuss made about a woman who has seen two world wars, six British monarchs and whose life spans three different centuries.

Munitions factory

Eunice was born in Lancashire on 23 August 1898, the second of 12 children. In about 1905 the family moved to the north-east of England so her father Thomas could find work and they settled in Felling.

Eunice had to fit in school around helping her mother look after her brothers and sisters.

When World War I broke out she went to work for the Armstrong munitions factory, in Newcastle, and the money she earned was used to help her family.

In 1919 she married Robert Pearson and they had four children. Sadly he contracted tuberculosis in 1928 and died the same year.

It left Eunice to bring up the four children on her own and times were hard.

When World War II started two of Eunice's sons, Norman and Thomas, enlisted into the Army and one was sent to Africa and the other to France. Both returned after the war and went back to their jobs in the shipyards.

Eunice Bowman

A party is being held for Eunice

Positive outlook

By the time of World War II Eunice was living in Windy Nook and in December 1941 she married for a second time.

Eunice and Frank Bowman had two children - Sheila, who died as a child, and Ann, who was born in 1945. Sadly Frank died in 1950.

Eunice started working in a fish and chip shop with her sister Annie until she was well into her 80s.

Eunice has outlived most of her children and she is the only surviving one of all her brothers and sisters.

Ann said: "She has always had a very positive attitude and just had simple pleasures.

"She has always had a nice outlook on life and is always smiling.

"I am really proud of her. She has been my best friend as well as my mum."

last updated: 29/08/2008 at 08:54
created: 22/08/2008

You are in: Tyne > People > Your Stories > A remarkable life

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