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100 Years Old!

A WOMAN who served as a cypher officer in the Second World War has celebrated her 100th birthday with visits from friends and family at a distance in the garden.

Joan Picton was born in Plymouth and was educated by her mother during her early years, later attending Plymouth Art School. She joined the Women’s Royal Naval service (WRNS) in 1939 and served as a writer and later as a cypher officer in different locations including Portsmouth, Plymouth, Lee-on-Solent and Yeovilton, Somerset, leaving service in 1945 as a Third Officer.

In 1947, she married Lt Commander Neville Picton, a mechanical engineer in the Royal Navy, at St Nicholas and St Faith Church, Saltash. They had a son, Stephen, and three daughters, Rosanne, Annette and Jane. Joan’s husband sadly died in 1989. She has five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. 

In November 2017, aged 97, Joan took part in the BBC televised annual service of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, as a former member of the WRNS, and read the citation. She also attended a service in Portsmouth Cathedral in the same year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the WRNS, and met the Princess Royal. 

Years after her mother, Joan’s daughter Annette also served in the WRNS and became a Royal Navy Commodore.

Joan has been a member of the Saltash Abbeyfield committee, and was a member of the former Saltash First Forum. 

She received a card from the Queen, and among the visitors on her special day was mayor of Saltash, Cllr Gloria Challen.

Story; Cornish Times