International Women's Day: Tribute to New Forest centenarian pair 

International Women's Day: Tribute to centenarian pair 

New Forest Colten Care home residents aged 100 remember their lives as land girls 


- Centenarian and former land girl Dorothy Hodson with her certificate of appreciation at Court Lodge care home in Lymington on International Women’s Day

Colten Care's Court Lodge care home in Lymington celebrated International Women’s Day on Tuesday by paying tribute to two residents who have both reached the age of 100 in recent months.

Staff honoured centenarians Ann Melrose and Dorothy Hodson, both veterans of the Women’s Land Army, by presenting flowers and certificates of appreciation to them at a special afternoon party.

Lives shaped by wartime service

The occasion was an opportunity for both Ann and Dorothy to reflect on how their lives were shaped by wartime service in their teens and early 20s.

Founded during World War One to support agricultural production, the Women’s Land Army was revived at the outbreak of the Second World War so that it could again organise women to replace workers called up to the military. Women who served in it were known as land girls.

Ann said: “I was too young to join the regular army, so I joined the Land Army instead. I worked on farms in Kent. Sometimes land girls would live in a cottage near the farm, and sometimes we would live in at the farm.”

After the war Ann went on to marry, raise a family and work in the hotel industry.

Recalling her time as a land girl, Dorothy said: “It was hard work, with long hours and little pay, but I enjoyed it.”

As well as being in the Women’s Land Army, Dorothy worked in a wartime factory where Wellington bomber airplanes were made.

She said: “It was my job to rivet the wing tips of the plane and I could only do it by crawling across the wing.”

After the war Dorothy met her husband and raised her family while working.

Andrea Rixon of the Court Lodge Companionship Team said: “I’m sure I speak for everyone at the home when I say it is an honour and a privilege to be caring for Ann and Dorothy.

“They really are very special ladies. We thank them for their service all those years ago in helping to keep the nation fed and secure. Subsequent generations owe them an everlasting debt.”


Main image: Centenarian Ann Melrose with Court Lodge Administrator Liz Thompson on International Women’s Day.

Image within article: Centenarian and former land girl Dorothy Hodson with her certificate of appreciation at Court Lodge care home in Lymington on International Women’s Day.

Find out more about Colten Care

With more than 30 years’ experience, Colten Care is an award-winning family-owned care home company. It owns 21 quality care homes covering Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and West Sussex and offers a range of services spanning residential, nursing and dementia care. Seven of the homes are rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission and Colten Care earns a consistently high group score, currently 9.9 out of ten, on the public review site Carehome.co.uk. Based on such third-party advocacy, Colten Care is the UK’s highest-rated care home group for its size.

All Colten Care homes are registered for nursing care

All homes are registered for nursing care and four are dedicated dementia care homes with Admiral Nurse support. Unlike people who receive domiciliary care in their own homes, residents in Colten Care homes have the reassurance that 24/7 nurse-led care with companionship is on hand whenever they need it. Residents live in the highest standards of accommodation, enjoying homecooked food, fresh laundry and housekeeping services, and safe, peaceful and inspiring gardens. Colten Care also supports residents to raise thousands of pounds for charities of their choice every year. Founded more than 35 years ago, Colten Care has won multiple awards for the quality of its care and remains an independent, family-owned care home provider. For more information, visit www.ColtenCare.co.uk

Three Colten Care homes in the New Forest are rated outstanding

Colten Care operates six residential nursing and care homes in the New Forest, three of which are rated Outstanding and three of which are in Lymington: Belmore Lodge, Court Lodge and dementia specialist Linden House (Outstanding). There are also homes in Brockenhurst -Woodpeckers (Outstanding), New Milton - Kingfishers (Outstanding) and Mudeford - Avon Reach. Click on the links to find out more about each home... 

Colten Care's Avon Reach    Colten Care Court Lodge Lymington    Colten Care Linden House Lymington 

Colten Care Belmore Lodge Lymington    Colten Care Kingfishers New Milton    Colten Care Woodpeckers Brockenhurst





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