Philip celebrates 105 yrs at Firtree House

Philip, a resident at Firtree Nursing Home in Sevenoaks turned 105 this month, surrounded by his family and friends.

He was born in Turkey and lived there until 1922 when his family moved to England. He went to school in Berkshire and then went to Clifton College in Bristol, finishing his education at Cambridge University. When he finished University Philip returned to Clifton College, a place he had thorough enjoyed in his earlier years, as a teacher.

He later moved to Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, where he spent three years “as a planter of tea” at a tea plantation, he gradually worked his way up to managing the plantation and did this until 1964 when he finally returned to England. Philip mentioned

Philip then spent the next ten years living in Tunbridge Wells, returning to teaching at a prep school in Sevenoaks, when at the age of 66, Philip sadly retired from this position.

Philip married in 1940 and had three children, two son’s and a daughter, but later divorced. He remarried in 1960, and he was married for 43 years to his second wife who was a brilliant artist. Philip brought a selection of her paintings to Firtree which he put in his room. He also has eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren!

Philip originally moved to Firtree house for a rest however he said that he enjoyed it so much that he wanted to stay. He was initially worried that he would not be able to maintain his independence, however, he still insists on doing everything for himself with only a little bit of help. He even insists on going to hospital appointments on his own, the first time the care team offered to join him for his appointment he exclaimed, “Young lady, I have been doing this myself for all these years, it’s nice to have your company but it certainly not necessary”.

Jackie Cullip, the home manager, said “Philip is a lovely gentleman and an inspiration to us all. He can be found quite frequently chatting to others in the lounge and conservatory. He always tells us when he is leaving the building, “Just so we don’t worry”.

In the morning Philip received a second card from the queen, the first was for his 100th, and he commented on how beautiful and elegant she looked, and how well she has aged throughout the years. Philip didn’t want a fuss for his birthday, but we didn’t feel it could go by unnoticed, so he agreed to a small birthday cake baked by our chef with some ‘105’ candles.

After this his friends and family took him out to the ‘Nevell Crest and Gun’ for lunch on his special day to celebrate with him.

Philip revealed his secret to a long life is,“A small amount of exercise and reasonable diet. Plenty of fruit, especially strawberries.” He also said that,“A shot of whiskey up until the age of 70 helped!”

We would just like to say that Philip is a very independent, polite, well mannered, humble man, a true gentleman in every sense of the word. Philip always greets you with a friendly smile and a cheery word. He is always considerate towards others and often sharing his strawberries, and if you haven’t noticed he does love his strawberries!

Firtree House provides specialist nursing care in a purpose built environment for up to 42 elderly people.

If you would like to find out more about life at Firtree House and the care we offer, or to request a meeting with our Home Manager, please contact us on 0808 223 5503 or

Firtree House

Home Manager

Jackie Cullip


30 St James Road,
Royal Tunbridge Wells,

0808 223 5503
View care home

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