Worthing woman is 100 today – or is she 25?

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FEW people aged 25 can say they have lived through two world wars and seen England win a World Cup, but Pearl Worsfold has.

While she may have had only 25 actual birthdays, Pearl celebrated her 100th year today (Wednesday, February 29).

The centenarian was born on a leap day – February 29, 1912 – meaning she has had a true birthday only every four years.

Mike Appleton, manager of the Downview Road nursing home where Pearl lives, said: “We do not know very much about Pearl, but we do know she was born in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, and marred a man called Tom.

“She had a spell in London and has told me she used to drive 17.5 tonne trucks in the Second World War to help towards the war effort.”

Pearl lived in Crawley before moving to Worthing to be nearer her family.

Mike added: “Pearl is a very quiet lady but she comes to life when she has her weekly hair-do, which she does rather like.”

When it is not a leap year, Pearl celebrates her birthday on February 28.

Staff at the nursing home gave Pearl a box of chocolates and a cake, and presented a card from the Queen to her. She was joined by other residents to celebrate her birthday and Worthing mayor Ann Barlow also attended.

The odds of being born on February 29 are 1,461 to one, and even rarer to celebrate a 25th birthday 100 years later.