A SPRIGHTLY centenarian who has lived her life to the full celebrated her 100th birthday with friends and family.

Berlin-born Vera Ellis is now enjoying the quiet life at Muscliff Nursing Home in Bournemouth but has spent decades working hard, helping others and enjoying an active social life.

She moved to England at the age of 19 and worked as an au pair in Bushey Heath, where she met Edgar, a broker in the Baltic Exchange in the City of London, who was later to become her husband.

She secured a job as an administrator in the then equivalent to the Muslim Council of Britain and, after the end of World War Two, she worked for the British Red Cross and helped arrange for clothes and toys to be sent to displaced children.

On Edgar’s retirement, the couple moved to New Milton and when her husband died more than 40 years ago, she decided to take advantage of her language skills – she is fluent in German, English and French – to qualify as a Blue Badge Guide.

She travelled around the UK escorting foreign tourists until she was well into her late eighties, when she hung up her guiding boots. Even then she found a new venture to keep her busy, delivering amusing and well-received lectures to professional bodies and groups such as the Women’s Institute.

Her niece Ursula Foyle said: “Keeping busy has served her well, she has never let the grass grow under her feet.

“She has always been busy doing something.”