Welwyn Garden City’s Lady Menzies celebrates 100th birthday

PUBLISHED: 10:26 18 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:43 18 December 2017

Muriel Menzies celebrated her birthday with family and friends. 
Picture: Supplied by Stuart Carnegie

Muriel Menzies celebrated her birthday with family and friends. Picture: Supplied by Stuart Carnegie

Archant

Relatives of a Welwyn Garden City centenarian flew in from all over the world to celebrate her milestone birthday.

Muriel Menzies celebrated her birthday with family and friends. 
Picture: Supplied by Stuart CarnegieMuriel Menzies celebrated her birthday with family and friends. Picture: Supplied by Stuart Carnegie

Lady Muriel Menzies, 100, of St Andrews Care Home, celebrated turning a century old at the care home surrounded by staff, friends and family on Friday.

Muriel, who was born in 1917, moved to Welwyn in 1994 after marrying Sir Peter Menzies who was knighted for being the chairman of the Electricity Council.

The pair lived in Harmer Green until they moved to Fern Grove in Welwyn Garden City in 1995.

Before her life in the Garden City, Muriel was born in Southend-on-Sea before she and her family moved to Hornsea in Yorkshire where she attended school, after which she trained as a secretary and shorthand typist.

Muriel Menzies celebrated her birthday with family and friends. 
Picture: Supplied by Stuart CarnegieMuriel Menzies celebrated her birthday with family and friends. Picture: Supplied by Stuart Carnegie

Before the war began she worked as a literary agent with the then up-and-coming publisher, Faber & Faber.

During the Second World War she served in the WRAF at Tempsford where she had dealings with the flight arrangements for the brave men and women who were being dropped into occupied Europe as SOE agents.

She was awarded two medals at that time, the 1939 – 1945 War Medal and the 1939 – 1945 Defence medal.

After the war she joined the Central Electricity Generating Board, which later became the Electricity Council, where she rose to become Private Secretary to successive chairmen.

Muriel Menzies celebrated her birthday with family and friends. 
Picture: Supplied by Stuart CarnegieMuriel Menzies celebrated her birthday with family and friends. Picture: Supplied by Stuart Carnegie

Muriel kept up her connections with Tempsford, acting as secretary to the Association, personally organising reunions of the SOE and resistance survivors in both France and England until the mid-1990s.

Muriel also had a keen interest in the arts, travelled in Europe extensively, most often to Italy and Portugal, and never missed a chance to visit the opera either abroad or at Covent Garden.

In the 1977 New Year’s Honours she was awarded The Member of the Order of the British Empire, Civil Division, for her services to the Electricity Industry.

It was here that she met Sir Peter and became his second wife, two years after the death of his wife, Mary.

Muriel became step-mother to Ian Menzies, who sadly died, and Cecilia Carnegie, who celebrated with her on Friday along with Ian’s family and her own.

Other relatives flew in from around the globe to join the party including her nephew Richard who flew in from Qatar where he works and was joined by his wife, Stephanie, and their family from Scotland.

Muriel’s godson Peter and his wife, Deirdre also flew in from Newfoundland to share the day.

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