A DEVOTED great-grandmother, volunteer and churchgoer in Dalkeith is celebrating her 100th birthday.Edna Ethel Mulley was born on September 4, 1911 to parents Louisa Jane Dolby and Joseph Williams in the village of Kinnerton, near Cheshire. The third of four children, she had two sisters, Nora and Doris, and a brother, Herbert.
Sadly, whilst her father was on duty in France in the First World War, her mother contracted Spanish Flu and died on Christmas Day, 1918. Her father returned to bury her but within three weeks, he too had also succumbed to the disease and passed away aged just 33.
The siblings were sent to live with other members of the family, with Edna being split from her brothers and sisters and placed at her aunt’s farm, which was an unhappy experience.
At the age of 21, Edna replied to an newspaper advert that required a nanny for a French family living in Liverpool. She was delighted to be given the job and spent two happy years caring for the young children, telling them stories to pass the time.
Edna was then forced to return to her aunt’s after a particularly bad case of the mumps, and had to stay until she was fully recovered. But, determined to leave the farm for good, Edna applied for a job in the linen department at a north London hotel as soon as she was well.
Once there, she loved to go out with friends to the cinema and would travel in to the city for nights out.
It was while getting the tube into London that she met her future husband, Bill Mulley.
The couple married on January 3, 1942 and moved to Birmingham, where Bill worked for the Greyhound Racing Association.
Their first child, Michael, was born in 1944, while their daughter Jane followed in 1948. The family lived in Cheshire, until 1959, when they made the move to Edinburgh after Bill was made racing manager at Powderhall.
The couple were well liked in the community. Ms Mulley dedicated a large part of her time to helping others, serving lunches at Dalkeith Welfare’s Old People’s Lunch Club, volunteering at a club for brain damaged children and helping with blood donors, serving tea and biscuits. She was also an active member of St Mary’s Episcopal Church and the Dalkeith History Society. Sadly, Bill passed away in 1982 after suffering a stroke a year earlier.
She is a grandmother to four, and great-grandmother to three. Daughter Jane said: “She remains cheerfully determined and resolute. We wish her the happiest of birthdays.”