May’s four generations of family makes Mother’s Day extra special

Written by: Alison Reijman Published: March 9, 2024

For Mother’s Day, we celebrate May Morris as one of our 40 Faces of Brendoncare. Families have always been important to 106-year-old May ever since she grew up the youngest of six children.

May Morris, who is 106, who is our 40 Faces of Brendoncare for Mother's Day.

May lives at Brendoncare Knightwood Mews in Chandlers Ford. She is immensely proud of her family spanning four generations – herself, her two children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

But family life was something May cherished from being a child growing up close to Southampton Water in south Hampshire. “I had four brothers and one sister,” May recalls. “I was five years younger than my youngest brother and 11 years younger than my sister. I was utterly spoilt!”

May had to cycle to school in nearby Dibden Purlieu. After she left school, May went to Vickers Supermarine’s works in nearby Hythe where she was its only female aircraft parts inspector.

Spitfire

When Vickers left the Hythe Works in 1938, May continued as an inspector at the company’s new Itchen Works in Woolston, Southampton, where Spitfire aircraft fuselages were produced.

She then returned to Hythe to work for British Power Boats whose factory was located next to where Vickers Supermarine had its site. While working there, May met her husband Douglas and they married at Lyndhurst Register Office in 1942 during World War 2.

“We went up to London for three or four days where I remember seeing the film Gone With The Wind. It was very quiet in London as the Blitz had not started then,” May says.

The couple lived in Holbury, where May had her two daughters and gave up work. They then moved to Sholing in Southampton when Douglas was working in Eastleigh. The family then went to live in Bolton, finally returning to Chandlers Ford.

May and Douglas moved to Brendoncare Knightwood Mews 11 years ago. Douglas passed away five years ago.

Daughter Helen lives close by in Chandlers Ford and her other daughter Pauline is in Petersfield. Some of her grandchildren live further afield in Hertfordshire and Majorca but all of them remain very close to their grandmother, visiting her whenever they can.

Joy

“It is a joy having my daughters so close and they are all so kind and lovely people. My grandson Robert comes to see me regularly and grand-daughter Katie has been such a help to me and comes practically every day. I am ever so lucky that they are all so kind to me.

“I hope I have been a good mother to them all. I know they all miss their granddad as well,” May continues.

May also mentions the positive energy surrounding her at Knightwood Mews in the form of the many carers and volunteers who support her. As a regular attendee of  the Monday coffee mornings, she is a pivotal part of the home’s community.

“Moving to Brendoncare Knightwood is probably the best move we ever made. I need a lot of care now and living so close to my family has made all the difference. There are lovely carers here and they are all very kind.”

She does not know what surprises her family members have in store for her on Mother’s Day. “They usually give me a gift – flowers,  clothes, all sorts but I tell them that I don’t need anything now!”

However, one of their greatest gifts is keeping May’s balcony garden looking beautiful with potted plants and flowers – always brightening her view on the world.