SHE has lived through the Great Depression, two world wars and 22 Olympic games.

Vera Smith, of the Don Thompson House care home, Dovercourt, celebrated her 100th birthday with friends and family – some of who had travelled from the United States.

Vera was born on November 2 1912, in Erawton, Suffolk and went to school nearby Shotley before working as a dinner lady at Manningtree High School.

She married husband Phillip in 1933, who she met at a dance. They were married for 59 years before Phillip’s death in 1992.

Vera, who had two brothers and a sister, also has two sons, two daughters, eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Her daughters, Myrtle Rehberger, 73, who has travelled from Eugene, Oregon, in the United States, said: “It’s wonderful to come over here and see my mother who has lived this long."