PEMBROKESHIRE born Mary Keir has celebrated her 111th birthday with her family at Awel Tywi Care Home in Llandeilo.

Former nurse Mary, who is believed to be Wales' oldest woman, was born in St Davids in 1912 - a month before the Titanic set sail.

She says the secret to a long life is staying busy and gardening, and she stays sharp by doing crosswords and sudoku, which she learned after turning 100.

"This is what's so important," she said previously in an interview with the Western Telegraph. 

"It's about keeping the brain active as our brains have got thousands of neurons that control the whole body."

May is also a keen pianist, and played keyboard for other residents until recently.

"I loved music, but although my father wanted me to go on and study it, I knew I wasn't a genius," she said.

“l play keyboard now, but I don’t like it. It’s not like a piano. You can make a piano talk, but with this you just press the notes.”

At the age of 21, Mary left her childhood home and made the long journey to Llandough Hospital in Vale of Glamorgan, where she trained to be a nurse.

She worked there for 12 years as a ward sister and then, after marrying her husband Douglas, moved to Llansteffan.

"These were probably the happiest years of my life," she said.

"Douglas and I enjoyed very similar things such as walking and cycling and we'd explore the countryside around us for miles."

With the BBC cameras in attendance at her 111th birthday celebrations, she recalled being in Cardiff during World War Two.

"War broke out when I was there. I remember it distinctly and listening to the announcement, 'We are now at war'," she said.

Recalling the moment she witnessed bombs falling on the hospital, she said: "It whistled as it came down from the plane, and I remember saying to myself ‘oh god, this is my end.’"

At the age of 40, Mary gave birth to her son, Robert, who has described her as having "never been a drinker or a smoker" and "something of a miracle."

Mrs Keir lived independently until the age of 99, but for the past 11 years has been a resident at Awel Tywi Care Home in Llandeilo.

Now into his seventies, her son Robert was there to celebrate his mother's 111th birthday with her, along with daughter-in law Sian Keir.

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