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Exmouth’s Mary Gregory celebrates her century

06:55 22 March 2014

Exmouth centenarian Mary Gregory. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 5246-10-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to

Exmouth centenarian Mary Gregory. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 5246-10-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to


CELEBRATING her century has given Exmouth’s Mary Gregory a huge boost.

Her 100th birthday party saw a big family gathering at the Devoncourt Hotel, with a splendid cake, a piper and a poem – and a quieter get-together on the actual day at her home off Hulham Road, complete with a card from the Queen.

“Her 100th has knocked 10 years off her!” said her daughter, Mrs Jan Rowsell. “She was so thrilled to have made it – it’s done her the world of good!”

Mary was “over the moon” to get a card from the Queen.

“When she had it by her side, I wasn’t quite sure which was the Queen!” said Jan. “They both looked similar!”

Mary’s birthday bash at the Devoncourt Hotel was attended by her four children, 12 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.

“It was a terrific family gathering,” said Jan. “We managed to get a piper, because she was originally from Scotland.”

Born in 1914 in Glasgow, Mary was the third daughter of Mr and Mrs David Muir. In 1916 the family relocated to Shrewsbury, where Mary spent much of her early life.

She then moved to Manchester to work as a children’s nurse.

It was here that she met her future husband, Robert Gregory, who worked for the city’s police force. In the late 1950s the couple moved to Exmouth “because they loved the idea of being by the sea”.

Today Mary is still in the same property that they bought in 1958.

“She lives in her own little bungalow and manages with a bit of help,” said Jan.

A poem written by Mary’s great-granddaughter Sophie Rawe was one of her birthday highlights.

The poem reads: “She loves to play dominoes to fill the day, to listen in a special way, I can’t believe she’s 100 today, you’re amazing, Nana, in every way.”


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