Sun, 09 Feb 2020
A THATCHAM woman who served in the Woman’s Land Army during the Second World War became a centenarian on Tuesday.
Alma Phyllis Inglut gathered with her friends and family for a 100th birthday celebration on Saturday at The Bowler’s Arms, Wash Common.
Neighbours and friends from afar came for the celebration, with guests enjoying sandwiches, snacks and a slice of cake.
There was also a special card from the Queen wishing Mrs Inglut a happy birthday.
Mrs Inglut’s daughter Julia, who organised the event, said it had been wonderful to get the family together.
“We’re such a big family and most of us live locally, but there are some we don’t see often, so it was a great celebration and opportunity to bring everyone together.
“Mum is the centre of the family – she has worked hard all her life and has always put her family needs first.”
Mrs Inglut’s son Derek added: “My mother can barely walk, but when she saw who was there, we’ve never seen her move so well.
“Everybody had a lovely time and she was thrilled to see so many faces.”
Mrs Inglut née Beesley was born on February 4, 1920, in Chaddleworth, the eldest of four daughters to Alma and George Beesley.
She attended St Andrew’s School in the village, before working six days a week at Marlston House in Hermitage as a housemaid.
During the war years she joined the Land Army as part of the Dig for Victory campaign, helping to boost Britain’s food production by harvesting crops in the fields.
It was during the war that Mrs Inglut met her first husband Douglas, a warrant officer serving in the Somerset Light Infantry.
They soon married, however he was recalled to the army shortly after.
Mrs Inglut was excited when she received a telegram on February 13, 1945, saying he was coming home on leave. However another telegram the following day informed her that he’d been killed in action.
After the war Mrs Inglut and her three sisters continued to attend dances in Hermitage and Chieveley.
It was there that she met Lance Corporal Franciszek (Frank) Inglut, who had fought with the British Eighth Army, and the couple married in 1948.
They were married for more than 50 years until his death in June 1999, having seven children – including six sons – eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
The couple lived in Thatcham for the vast majority of their marriage – a short stint in Devon aside – and could often be seen on the dance floor at Shaw Social Club, with Frank guiding the way.