Barking and Dagenham's oldest resident dies aged 108
PUBLISHED: 10:00 20 December 2016 | UPDATED: 07:23 21 December 2016
Tributes have been paid to the borough's oldest resident who has died at the age of 108.
Lilian Alice Twinley, who lived in Rugby Road, Dagenham, for more than six decades, passed away at Romford’s Queen’s Hospital on Friday, surrounded by her children and grandchildren.
The great-great-great-grandma was still in good health until a fall resulted in bleeding on the brain and her death five days later.
Lilian Turner was born in 1908 to a costermonger in Poplar, as the eldest of three children. She grew up in a “very close, very happy” East End community, reflected daughter Sheila Cartwright, 83. “None of them had a lot of money but they loved parties.”
It was at a local dance that Lilian met Edward Twinley, who she married at St Stephen’s Church in Poplar on Christmas Day in 1930.
Her husband survived his posting with the Royal Artillery during the Second World War but their home was bombed in the Blitz – forcing the family to move to Barking.
“She never ever complained, she was gentle, kind,” recalled Sheila. “She was the ideal mother. She didn’t have a temper.”
After staying at home to bring up their two children, Lilian worked for 20 years as a dinner lady at Ripple Road primary school in Barking.
“She very much enjoyed working with all the ladies there,” said Sheila. “Mum got on with everyone.”
Fifteen years after her husband’s death from prostate cancer, Lilian moved into assisted accommodation in Harp House, where she remained for the last 12 years of her life.
“I didn’t think she’d survive my dad’s death but she was a strong lady,” reflected Sheila, of Western Avenue, Dagenham.
“She’s been very, very happy there – it’s places like that which keep people alive.”
The funeral will take place at 12.40pm on January 11 at South Essex Crematorium.