Cake and sense of humour sees Mollie turn 100

Mollie Hickie and family
Mollie Hickie and family

An accomplished Bexhill artist, known for her sense of humour and love of cake, has celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends.

Mollie Hickie was born on August 16, 1914, in Little Common. After spending time in Egypt Mollie returned to Bexhill and attended St Johns school. She trained as a kennel maid, and later worked as an ‘Au Pair’.

On a trip to Germany with friends in 1933, she became unofficially engaged to Fritz. Mollie returned to Bexhill a week before the outbreak of war to find the owner, staff and girls in the school where she was an Au Pair had returned to Germany.

Mollie joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) in 1943 by which time tragedy had struck as her brother Peter (in the RAF) and Fritz had been killed. Mollie served in Winchester, Felixstowe, Skegness and in 1946 Lubbecke and Hamburg.

In 1946 Mollie met future husband Anthony Hickie in Hamburg and they married the following year.

Returning to England they often moved, including to Bournemouth where Mollie ran a respite care home for people with arthritis. Tony retired in 1986 and they returned to Bexhill. Sadly Tony passed away in 1994.

Mollie, who lives at Ancaster Court, has been a member of a variety of local organisations including the Naval Association and the Bexhill Womans Guild. Of her longevity, cousin Katy Wallace said: “We guess that maybe some of it is due to her down to earth and healthy way of life, her love of dog walking, gardening, acceptance of responsibility and what life threw at her, especially during the war; she served as a Wren and until very recently she would always march, in uniform, and attend the parade at the War Memorial in Bexhill on Remembrance Sunday. The names of her brother Peter Willing, and first cousin Michael Birnie are both on the Bexhill War Memorial.

“Mollie has always believed in ‘getting on with it’ and has been a great participator in community and family life and has many friends. She has always shown great interest in the people she meets and is full of interesting stories, and still has memories and stories to tell. She has always been such fun to be with and blessed with a lovely smile which she wears on her face so much! She also has a great sense of humour and fun.

“Maybe her love of cake has contributed to her longevity!”

Mollie is an accomplished artist with credits including greetings cards and the children’s book ‘Jock the Scottie’ written and illustrated by Mollie.