THERE’S a lot you can fit into 105 years.

And no one knows that more than Doris Field.

The Witney grandmother turned 105 on November 9, last year, and now this incredible lady wants to know if she has any rivals for the top spot in Oxfordshire’s age league table.

Like many women of her generation, Mrs Field worked hard – juggling an active working life, being a mother and grandmother, an active member of her church and Women’s Institute and a loving wife.

But in her time she has also gone the extra mile to help others, looking after three evacuees throughout the Second World War, while volunteering serving refreshments to the troops at Kingham Railway Station.

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And Mrs Field’s secret to a long life?

She said: “50 years of happy married life and hard work and a contented mind.”

When Mrs Field’s family saw the article in the Oxford Mail about Major Rupert Crowdy who turned 105 on Thursday, March 12, they decided to try to find out once and for all if their formidable mother and grandmother is indeed Oxfordshire’s oldest resident.

Daughter-in-law, Sheelagh Field said: “When she turned 105, we tried to find out from Department for Work and Pensions if she was the oldest, but they couldn’t give us any information.

“Then when we saw the photograph of this gentleman in the paper saying he might be the oldest resident in Oxfordshire we decided to contact the paper.

“All we want to know is whether she is the oldest or whether she is not. If there is someone else older then obviously that’s great, that’s wonderful.”

Doris Lambourne, as she was then, started work at 14, when she became a live-in help at a farm in Kidlington.

She stayed there until she married Ellis Field in 1933. A stone mason, he died 32 years ago, in 1983.

The couple lived in Fifield near Burford, where their son Oliver was born, and moved to Idbury in 1935.

When war broke out Mrs Field took on three evacuees.

One of them has since died but the two who remain, John Watkins and Len Watkins, enjoyed living with their surrogate Oxfordshire mum so much they still return to visit her regularly.

And if raising four children wasn’t enough, Mrs Field also cycled six miles through the countryside each day to make tea and sandwiches for the troops getting on trains at Kingham Station on their way to war.

Daughter-in-law Shelagh Field said this was an experience Mrs Field really enjoyed.

After the hard years of the war, Mrs Field returned to work at Idbury House for 40 years as a cleaner.

Her strong work ethic is still evident in the fact that she didn’t retire until she was 75 in 1985.

As well as holding down a job, being a mother to her son Oliver – who now lives with his wife Shelagh in Fifield – and a grandmother, Mrs Field, a devoted Christian, was heavily involved with her church, serving on Fifield and Idbury parochial church council for more than 50 years.

She was a member of the Mother’s Union for 80 years and took an active part in Fifield Women’s Institute.

  • If you know someone in Oxfordshire who is older than Mrs Field, please contact the Oxford Mail on 01865 425426.