Residents and staff at Belmont House Care and Nursing Home in Stocksbridge near Sheffield celebrated the 101st birthday of Gerda Freeman in style. Gerda enjoyed a birthday cake and sing-along as she celebrated with staff and residents. At the party, Gerda revealed her secrets to living a long life; good food, plenty of exercise and lots of husbands. Her advice to the younger generation is to enjoy life and never worry.
“We wish Gerda a very happy 101st Birthday from all of her Belmont House family,” said Home Manager Joanne Coldwell “Gerda is a wonderful character and we love hearing all about her fascinating life, she has so many wonderful stories”.
Gerda was born in August 1919 in Berlin where she lived with her parents and older brother. As a child, she wanted to be a nurse, but because her brother was already studying medicine, Gerda’s parents sent her to business college instead where she learnt how to run an office, as well as the English language. Gerda loved outdoor sport and as a girl attending a sports camp, training for the 1940 Olympics as a competitor in the long jump. Sadly, when the war broke out the Olympics was cancelled, and the training stopped. Throughout her life, Gerda loved spending days ice skating with family and friends.
Gerda has been married three times, her first husband was a German man she met when she was 21 years old, with whom she had her only child, a son Eckart Lindner. During World War Two, Gerda and her son were evacuated to East Germany whilst her husband served in the German army. Gerda and her son were safe for a while until the occupation by the Soviet Union. Gerda then fled back to her hometown of Berlin, where she started working in a German prisoner of war camp helping the English to translate the German language for the prisoners. Unbeknown to her at the time, this was where she met her future second husband, an English guard name Stanbrough.
Stanbrough had saved the life of his Lieutenant, who asked how he could repay him and so he requested for Gerda and her son to be brought to live with him in England. Agreeing to his request, Gerda flew to England with the RAF, where she lived happily in London with Stanbrough and her son, who she renamed Eric. After her divorce was finalised to her first husband, Gerda and Stanbrough were married and moved to her forever home of Sheffield. The marriage sadly broke down, but Gerda remained in Sheffield, where she later met her 3rd husband. They lived together happily married until he sadly passed away.
Her son Eckhart, who was known as Eric, died at the age of sixty, leaving a daughter Helen, Gerda’s only grandchild, who visits her often at Belmont House.
Gerda has been a resident at Belmont House since April 2019 and enjoys chatting with staff and keeping everyone entertained with her stories. She celebrated her 100th Birthday at the home last year and hopes to celebrate many more with the staff and residents who have become her friends.
For more information about Belmont House Care & Nursing Home please contact Home Manager, Joanne Coldwell on 01142 831 030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.