Sat, 23 Jan 2021
GERTRUDE Annie Kingston, who has lived through two World Wars and the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, has received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccination at the age of 111 years and 357 days.
Today (Saturday), supercentenarian ‘Gertie’ – as she is known to her family and friends – became the second oldest person in the UK to have had the vaccine.
Dr Newman from Kintbury & Woolton Hill Surgery came round to Mrs Kingston’s Enbridge House Care Home in Woolton Hill to administer the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine – nine days before she celebrates her 112th birthday.
Mrs Kingston is the second oldest living person in the UK after Sarah Lilian Priest, who turned 112 in November last year.
Mrs Priest, who lives at York House care home in Swanage, Dorset, had the vaccine on Tuesday.
After receiving the jab, Mrs Kingston was asked how it was.
She replied: “I didn't feel a thing.”
Mrs Kingston was born in Farnborough, but has lived the majority of her life in West Berkshire, spending the last 11 years as a resident at the Woolton Hill care home.
One of her earliest memories was of her father leaving to fight in the First World War.
She also recalls returning home from school in Aldermaston in December 1917 to news that he had been killed in the war.
The family moved to Yattendon, where Mrs Kingston took a job at Barn Close. Here her musical talent flourished, learning to play the violin and the cello.
She also took part in the Newbury Musical Festival at the Corn Exchange, with a choir made up of villagers from Yattendon and Frilsham.
In 1954, Mrs Kingston – who had learned typing during her time at Barn Close – took a job at the School of Military Survey at Hermitage.
It was here where she met her husband Ernie, who she married in February 1960.
They had many happy years together before he died in April 1983.
Mrs Kingston was a lifelong member of the Women’s Institute and was the secretary of the organisation’s Yattendon and Frilsham branch.
For many years, she also typed the village newsletter, The Broadsheet, which was typed on the old stencils and printed on a Roneo machine, as well as helping out at the Yattendon and Frilsham Fete.
Eventually her health deteriorated and she moved a couple of times, arriving at Enbridge House Care Home in 2009.