Betty Yorke has finally graduated at the age of 101
When she clocked the milestone century Ms Yorke confessed that her main regret in life was that she never completed her college education.
But on her 101st birthday she finally received her degree after she was forced to quit her course early because of the outbreak of the Second World War.
At the time she was studying at Southlands College in Wimbledon, London, and as war clouds loomed moved to Liverpool where he father was a church chaplain and began a teaching career at a local school.
Ms Yorke sitting on a horse in 1936
The recession of the 1930s and the outbreak of the war prevented my mother from gaining a degree – a matter of personal ambition for someone wanting to excel at teaching
Betty Yorke's son, David
She then went with evacuees to Sandbach, Cheshire, where she met her husband, Charles at a Methodist church and after starting a family continued to pursue a successful career teaching biology and giving careers advice.
She ended up as a senior teacher and head of careers at Wilmslow Girls Grammar School, Cheshire until she retired in 1976.
Eventually Southlands College and others combined to form the Roehampton Institute of Higher Education which in turn became the University of Roehampton.
Her as a teacher at Wilmslow Girls Grammar School (third row, second from the right) in 1962/63
And last year they offered former students who had been awarded a Certificate in Education before 1980 the chance to be awarded an honorary Bachelor of Education degree “in recognition of the work required to obtain this certificate and subsequent services to education”.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
Ms Yorke, who now lives in a care home in Stockport, Greater Manchester could not attend the degree ceremony so her certificate was presented on her 101st birthday this week.
Her son David said: “The recession of the 1930s and the outbreak of the war prevented my mother from gaining a degree – a matter of personal ambition for someone wanting to excel at teaching.
“My father’s ill health led to her return to teaching while her children were still at school and thankfully she has lived long enough to achieve another of her major ambitions in life.”