101 years young

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A RESIDENT of Edzell’s Balhousie Glens Care Home celebrated her 101st birthday on Sunday.

Maisie Trail was born in Edzell, attending the primary school there from the age of five until she left at fourteen.

In the early part of her working life, Maisie worked in the Post Office as a qualified wireless operator.

From there, Maisie worked for the government in London at the Code and Cypher School, where she was responsible for intercepting communications from enemy intelligence during the World War Two.

Early in 2010 Maisie received the Commerative Medal from the government in recognition of her vital work during the war.

“My brother Iain was killed in Holland in the war.,” she explained.

“After this we got a memo which was sent to all the Post Office offices asking if anyone who had any experience of wireless operating would like to work for the government.

“I thought this was my chance to help. So I went to Dundee and sat my exams. I passed and two days later I was in London.

“We were getting on fine in London, living in a beautiful house until the Doodlebug’s started and we had pack up and move.

“When we were moved they tried to get us as near home as possible and I was lucky to get placed at Kirkcaldy.”

“We worked for the secret service but at the time we didn’t really realise just how important the work was.

“It wasn’t until a few years ago when I got my medal for the work I did that I found out just how important it was.

“We knew it was important because we were intercepting every country in the world. Everything that came through was in Morse Cose and we had to translate that into plain language for the teleprinters.

“It was only after everything had finished that you realised just how big a job it was.”

“I am glad I did what I did. After Iain and many of my friends died in the war it meant that I could do my bit to help.

“When I got my medal for my work during the war I was overwhelmed and thought that someone was pulling my leg.”

Maisie returned to Edzell after hostilities, back to the Post Office, a job she continued in until 1970.

Maisie marked her latest birthday milestone with half a dozen friends and family in the lounge at the care home.

Maisie said: “We had a cup of tea and a glass of sherry and we had a wonderful time.

“It meant so much to me and will be something that I will remember until the day I die. I have been so happy.”

“I am totally blind and if it wasn’t for my sister in law Milli and my brother Blair I would not be where I am just now.”