A PORT woman who served as an auxiliary during the Second World War is celebrating her 100th birthday.

Christina MacInnes was surrounded by her close family and friends in Marchmont Care Home on her big day - and was proud to receive her special birthday message from the Queen, a fellow ATS recruit.

As a 20-year-old she left her home in the Isle of Lewis in 1939 to join the Auxiliary Territorial Army, as a telephone operator.

It was on her way back home at the end of the war she met seaman Calum John MacInnes, who also lived on the island but was born in Port Glasgow.

The pair fell in love, married and moved to make a life in his home town instead.

Revealing the secret to her long and happy life Christina said: "Definitely living a quiet life!

"It is lovely to have everyone here but I don't like a fuss or attention."

A remarkable lady, Christina has only been in the care home for the last 18 months, having lived in Roseneath Road for 60 years, moving in when the homes there were first built.

Christina and Calum, who later worked for the Clydeport Authority, raised their daughter Margaret, now 72, and living in France and son John, aged 67, who lives in Inverkip.

As a child Christina, born on July 4, 1919, grew up in the tiny village of Tong, four miles from Stornoway, speaking Gaelic as a first language.

The war meant young women like Christina were soon travelling away from their homes.

She said: "It was really good.

"I made lots of friends and enjoyed operating the telephone."

It was while travelling all the way back to the Outer Hebrides from Reading that she met Calum, her husband of 56 years.

Her daughter Margaret Beaumont said: "My dad was originally from Port Glasgow but he was sent to live on the Isle of Lewis when he was nine, because his father died.

"My mum had the choice to live there or in Port Glasgow, but she chose to live here.

"We used to spend all her school holidays on the Isle of Lewis."

Christina settled with Calum and raised her family, returning to work in Playtex when her children went into high school.

She added: "I like Port Glasgow, I have been very happy here." On her birthday her three grandchildren and great grandchildren all joined with Marchmont staff to celebrate.

Her daughter Margaret said: "My mum is an amazing lady."