BY JESSICA GRAY
Dorothy was born on 5 November 1921 at the family home in Putney, a district in Greater London, the third daughter of Edward and Florence Trudgett. Her education was at Putney Public School which amazingly is celebrating their centenary this year too.
While she passed her college exams, money was tight, so she started her first job at age 14 with a grocery/butcher chain called Coppin Bros and rose to be their head cashier and bookkeeper. In 1942 she was conscripted into the Auxiliary Territorial Service (which was the women’s branch of the British Army).
After training, she was posted to 567 Heavy Ack Ack Battery, serving as a coder and switchboard operator, and saw service in England, Scotland and Wales. Growing up in a conservative Church of England family and then moving into accommodation with 32 other women, Dorothy says the army instilled her with a mentality to work hard and do jobs to the best of her ability.
She met her future husband, Ken Ware, in 1943 and they were married in September 1945. She finished serving in October 1945 and received the Defence Medal and the War Medal 1939 -1945. In 1946 she emigrated to Australia with Ken and his parents, who established a delicatessen on Blaxland Rd Ryde, where she worked for several years. In 1952 her only child, Robert, was born.
For a brief period, the family moved back to England but later returned to Australia in 1955 and lived in Randwick. Unfortunately, Ken was killed in a bus accident that year, leaving Dot to complete the house they were building at Wentworthville and go back into the workforce.
She found a job with Hoyts and again progressed from cashier to head bookkeeper, remaining there until 1964 when she found an accounting job with H M Gould, a wholesaler at the Sydney Produce Markets then situated in Haymarket. Following the market’s move to Flemington, she took up a similar role with another agent, Toners and Associates and remained with them until 1999 (then aged 78). Even after retirement, she still received offers to work for other agents.
In 1959, she married Percy Fitch and moved to Normanhurst where she remained until December 2018 when she took up residence at Arcare Glenhaven. Dorothy Mary Fitch has celebrated her 100 th birthday at Arcare Glenhaven where staff and residents gathered to celebrate her milestone for a special afternoon tea. The Lifestyle Coordinator and Residence Manager presenting her flowers and unique framed poster filled information about the year that she was born.