Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Gallery: Suffolk’s oldest resident and super-centenarian Doris Punchard marks 110th birthday

10:47 21 July 2014

Doris Punchard turned 110 on Saturday

Doris Punchard turned 110 on Saturday

She is a super-centenarian, Suffolk’s oldest resident and is thought to be the 16th oldest person in Britain.

A photograph of Doris Punchard aged 32 with her mother in her back garden.A photograph of Doris Punchard aged 32 with her mother in her back garden.

And on Saturday, Doris Punchard – affectionately known as Punch – celebrated her 110th birthday milestone surrounded by friends.

Punch was born in Springfield Lane, Ipswich, on July 19, 1904, and was just 10 at the outbreak of the First World War.

She recalled: “My mother and I were staying in Felixstowe when the war broke out because my father was building some bungalows there at the time.

“We went down to the station and you couldn’t walk through for the amount of luggage that had been abandoned.

“You would have thought the Germans were going to bomb Felixstowe any minute with the bags left scattered around.”

She also recalled the time she anxiously waited for news of her aunt, Salvation Army captain Selena Cook, who was onboard the Titanic on its fateful voyage to New York on April 10, 1912.

“It was a relief when we heard she was safe. She was the oldest to be saved,” she said. “She was going to bring her son on the trip but at the last minute she decided not to so she was very thankful for that.”

Punch, who up until last year lived alone but now lives in Beach Lawn care home in Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, after a fall, went to secondary school in Bolton Lane.She worked for the National Deposit Friendly Scheme for 42 years and retired at the age of 64.

“I’ve always been a hard worker. I worked for the same firm for 42 years and now I have been retired for longer that the period I worked,” she said.

After retiring, Punch, who never married, took her opportunity to travel and visited Switzerland on eight occasions as well as visiting the south of France, Austria and Scotland.Punch started to drive in 1934 and one of her earliest motoring memories was driving down Norwich Road to be greeted by a herd of cows being brought up to be milked. “Can you imagine that happening now?” she joked.

Punch’s special birthday was celebrated with a party thrown by her loyal friend Freda Smith, who drives Punch to St Matthew’s Church every Sunday, at her home in The Avenue, Ipswich.

“Freda is wonderful and is a marvellous worker with the church,” Punch explained. “Everybody at the church is a wonderful friend and I’m so thankful for their help.”

The birthday girl was given dozens of cards and presents from her friends as well as a special card from the Queen.

Punch said: “I didn’t want a card every year from the Queen so I asked not to be sent them. Where was I going to put them all?

“I have the card from my 100th birthday in a frame in my room but my 110th one is much nicer so I’m going to swap them over.”



  • Liam, lots of us OAPs use computers, so don't be so sure about Doris. Anyway, many happy returns, Doris.

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

  • Congratulations Doris! And happy birthday!... although I can't imagine she'll be logging in to see this, especially if she's got Windows 8!

    Report this comment

    Liam Dodd

    Monday, July 21, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Dr John Ashdown-Hill from Lawford is made an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.  Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

A historian who was instrumental in the discovery of Richard III’s remains has today been presented with an MBE.

Pedestrian rail crossing just off Mount Road, Bury St Edmunds.

Lifesaving police officers who pulled a drunk and suicidal man off the train tracks near Bury St Edmunds seconds before a train flew past are up for a national bravery award.

Broomhill Swimming Pool in Ipswich has received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. L-R: Robyn Llewellyn (head of Heritage Lottery Fund - East of England), Cllr Bryony Rudkin, Tim Mills, Garath Jones and Mark Ling.

Broomhill pool in Ipswich could reopen to the public at Easter 2018 – its 80th anniversary – after its re-opening proposals got the backing of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Average speed camera.

Average speed cameras on the A12 on the Essex and Suffolk border have not yet been switched on – three months after they were installed.

The Memorial Hall  in Drinkstone

The village of Drinkstone is remembering another of its fallen First World War soldiers with a special exhibition.

Georgia and Jodie Mutch have lost 8.5 stone between them after joining Slimming World. The sisters are pictured in Ipswich. Georgis is on left on the latest photo

Jodie Mutch and sister Georgia are celebrating new slim-line figures after losing five stone and three stone respectively.


Four unemployed mechanics turned van thieves who set up a secret “chop shop” to strip down stolen vehicles were foiled when satellite technology led police straight to the site.

Gainsborough's House.

One of the most powerful women in the fashion world is backing a bid to put Gainsborough’s birthplace on the map as a major national tourist attraction.

The woman was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital. Photo credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire


Police are investigating a crash which happened in Beccles yesterday lunchtime.

Thomas Harvey's winning entry in the Landguard Photography Competition 2015.

Stunning photographs of Suffolk’s most southerly point attracted big interest on-line with around 800 people voting for their favourite.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages