Former first class army chef enjoys ‘wonderful’ 100th birthday party

Kath Rhodes enjoyed a “really wonderful” 100th birthday celebration at The Gables Care Home in Chatteris. 

Former army chef Kath Rhodes enjoyed a “really wonderful” 100th birthday celebration at The Gables Care Home in Chatteris. - Credit: The Gables 

A former first class army chef, who once served a cup of tea to Queen Elizabeth II, has celebrated her 100th birthday.  

The Gables Care Home resident Kath Rhodes enjoyed a “really wonderful” day on Sunday, March 21 as she celebrated her milestone birthday.  

She started her special day by opening lots of cards and gifts from family and friends, she was especially pleased to receive a card from Her Majesty.  

Former army chef Kath Rhodes enjoyed a “really wonderful” 100th birthday celebration at The Gables Care Home in Chatteris.

Former army chef Kath Rhodes enjoyed a “really wonderful” 100th birthday celebration at The Gables Care Home in Chatteris. - Credit: The Gables

Kath was then surprised with a visit from her daughter Linda, made possible under current guidelines, and a Skype call with son Tony.  

Everyone at the Home toasted Kath with a glass of bubbly at lunchtime, and this was followed by an afternoon of entertainment by staff members performing a Punch and Judy Show.  

Then of course it was time for the birthday cake, which was a joint effort by both Gables chefs and featured a number 100 cake, a road and a motorbike flying over it!  

For some time, Kath has had a wish to ride in a sidecar on a motorbike.  

Former army chef Kath Rhodes enjoyed a “really wonderful” 100th birthday celebration at The Gables Care Home in Chatteris.

Former army chef Kath Rhodes enjoyed a “really wonderful” 100th birthday celebration at The Gables Care Home in Chatteris. - Credit: The Gables

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This is something the home will arrange for her in the summer months, once we can secure the services of someone with a motorbike and sidecar.  

Kath, a popular and much-loved resident who has been living at the home since February 2017, says her recipe for living to such an age is to keep laughing.  

“It’s no good being miserable,” she said.  

Former army chef Kath Rhodes enjoyed a “really wonderful” 100th birthday celebration at The Gables Care Home in Chatteris.

Former army chef Kath Rhodes enjoyed a “really wonderful” 100th birthday celebration at The Gables Care Home in Chatteris. - Credit: The Gables

Kath was born in London, one of eight children and at a young age sneaked away with a friend to Waterloo Station where she joined the Army and served with the Auxiliary Territorial Service.  

Kath became a cook - First Class and served until 1942. 

One abiding memory she has of her time in the Forces is of making a cup of tea for the then Princess Elizabeth who was serving as a Driver and is now Queen Elizabeth II. 

Former army chef Kath Rhodes enjoyed a “really wonderful” 100th birthday celebration at The Gables Care Home in Chatteris.

Former army chef Kath Rhodes enjoyed a “really wonderful” 100th birthday celebration at The Gables Care Home in Chatteris. - Credit: The Gables

Kath met her husband William (Bill) while they were both serving in the forces, they were married in Cornwall, after which they moved to Canning Town, then to March in 2006.  

The couple had 67 years together before Bill passed away in 2007, they had three children, Linda, Susan and Tony. 

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