Chatty Edna of Bovingdon did make it to her 100th birthday but centenarian has now passed away

Edna Banister Dudley House, Bovingdon
Edna Banister Dudley House, Bovingdon

A woman who decided to have a birthday celebration every quarter of her 100th year - in case she didn’t make it to the big day - has passed away.

Much to her surprise chatty Edna Banister, who lived in Dudley House, Bovingdon, did make it to the milestone birthday in October last year.

After suffering a stroke aged 99 and three quarters it took her some time to come to terms with hitting the big number.

Daughter-in-law Alison Banister said: “She didn’t think she would make it to 100 - she had got it into her head that she wouldn’t.”

Edna, who lived in Tring until recent years, recovered from the stroke apart from some speech problems and celebrated the big birthday with a party but around nine months later she passed away peacefully in hospital.

Born in 1912 in Norwich, she was a toddler during the First World War and when the second outbreak of war came along she joined the Woman’s Auxiliary Air Force and served in the UK, France and Belgium as an aircraft plotter.

Alison said: “She enjoyed the camaraderie amongst her fellow plotters, visiting the towns and villages in her off duty times.

“Her first marriage ended along with the war. In 1952 she married John William Ralph Banister - known as Ralph - and they had a son, Geoffrey John Banister in 1954.”

She died on Monday, July 15 following a second stroke. Alison said: “I was able to be with Edna for the last week of her life. I felt honoured to watch over her and to be with her at the end of her life.”

Edna had previously told the Gazette that having less to worry about and laughing was the key to a long and happy life.

Her funeral will be held on Wednesday, July 31, at Breakspear Crematorium in Ruislip at 2.30pm.