BIRTHDAY girl Alice Bates had 100 reasons to celebrate on Wednesday, with the Bo’ness resident reaching her centenary milestone.
Originally from Aberdeen, ATS volunteer Alice was posted to the Middle East as a secretary towards the end of World War II.
She recalls their ship getting chased by a submarine - despite being poised to evacuate on lifeboats Alice was unafraid - and it having to divert course to Cairo via Cape Town.
Alice married Norman Fletcher Bates in Haifa. Her late husband was an army captain, then major, who received the Military Cross for working with Field Marshal Montgomery at El Alamein.
The couple had a daughter Cate - now aged 67 and a retired secretary and therapist, who stays with husband Stan Mowat, a retired Linlithgow Academy chemistry and general science teacher, on Carriden Brae.
Grandsons Ross (36), of Bo’ness, and Keith (34), now in Australia, were among those sharing birthday wishes with Alice, who stays in Kinacres Grove, on May 15.
Alice did a lot of spiritual healing in the 1970s/80s. She has enjoyed tennis, gardening and doing jigsaws and crosswords over the years, and came to Bo’ness in 1998.
Cate said: “Mum has always been a very feisty lady, always been there for her family, a very caring and concerned parent and grandma.”