AN MP has paid tribute to his “wonderful” mum who died at the age of 104.

Devout Roman Catholic Maud Amess passed away at Nazareth House care home, in London Road, Southend - leaving behind son Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, and daughter Angela.

Paying tribute to the former dressmaker, Sir David said: “Most people think their mother is wonderful. My mother was not only wonderful, she was an inspiration to our family throughout her long life.

“If you really love someone the longer they are around the tougher it can be for those left behind. No more Christmases, no more birthdays, no more family celebrations together.”

Mrs Amess was born in the East End of London, as the eighth of eleven children.

Despite growing up in poverty, she worked hard to forge a career.

Sir David added: “Our mother was the last to die, outliving all her brothers and sisters and her friends. She had a very tough upbringing, the family struggled to make ends meet and they slept three or four to a bed.

“She worked incredibly hard all her life, becoming a court dressmaker and making a wedding dress for the late Duchess of Gloucester. In the Second World War she and her family were evacuated to Essex.”

Mrs Amess - who died last Wednesday - later joined the Land Army, receiving her badge of honour at Downing Street at the age of 95.

After the Second World War, she married husband James and stayed home raising their two children until they were old enough for her to return to work.

Sir David said: “After all manner of jobs, she ended up as perhaps the City of London’s number one tea lady. She was known as ‘Mrs Tea’. She gave up work in her 70s to look after our ailing father.

“She was in every sense a strong woman, who did not have a lazy bone in her body and would give you her last penny. She was also a devout Roman Catholic. She loved all of her family and did so much for them all. We owe her everything and will never forget our mother, who was simply the best.

“We thank the priest, nuns and all the staff at Nazareth House for all the wonderful care which they gave her.”

Her funeral will take place at Nazareth House on Monday, October 31 at 11am followed by a burial at West Ham Cemetery, in Forest Gate.