Army cook who served in World War Two celebrates her 100th birthday
A former Army cook from the Spen Valley who served in the Second World War is celebrating her 100th birthday today (Friday, October 1).
Florence (Flo) Susan Bagot, who was born, brought up and has lived in the area all her life, worked as a cook throughout her career.
She was based in York during her time with the Army in the Second World War, and then worked at a special school, initially at Nunroyd.
It moved to High Street in Heckmondwike before becoming Fairfield on Dale Lane.
Florence went blind in her teens for no explainable reason but her sight later returned.
She married George Arthur Cook during the war years and they had six children: Christine, Brian, Hilary, Jennifer, Heather and Nigel. Sadly Heather and Nigel have passed away in the last few years.
Florence was widowed in 1977.
With most of her children now married, she began to suffer with arthritis and was virtually housebound.
She was referred to specialists to have a hip replacement and she became one of the first in the country to have both hips replaced at the same time.
She made a remarkable recovery, going on to walk miles most days.
She travelled the world in the years after her life was changed and lived and looked after herself for years.
Florence now lives at Spen Court in Heckmondwike, where she can receive specialist care for her dementia.
Her son Brian says she contracted Covid-19 during the pandemic but such is her determination she managed to overcome the virus.
“Flo to most will be just an ordinary person bringing up her family the best she could, but to us she will always be our best special mum,” he said.