Search

VE Day 75: Shadwell born centenarian celebrating historic anniversary with jellied eels and Guiness

PUBLISHED: 13:30 08 May 2020

Honor Harber celebrated her 100th birthday in April and will be singing along to Dame Vera Lynn as the nation marks 75 years since VE Day. Picture: Joanne Lawless

Honor Harber celebrated her 100th birthday in April and will be singing along to Dame Vera Lynn as the nation marks 75 years since VE Day. Picture: Joanne Lawless

Archant

A 100-year-old great, great grandmother has spoken of her happiness on celebrating the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Honor's husband William with his wartime pals. Picture: Joanne LawlessHonor's husband William with his wartime pals. Picture: Joanne Lawless

Honor Harber lived in Martha Street, Shadwell, during the Second World War and remembers spending many nights curled up on a blanket taking shelter with others at a wharf in Wapping during air raids.

The centenarian was meant to celebrate her 100th birthday on April 27 surrounded by her family and with a band set to play “forces’ sweetheart” Dame Vera Lynn classics including We’ll Meet Again.

The Covid-19 lockdown meant the celebrations had to be postponed but the five generations of Honor’s family sang happy birthday over the internet. And of course Honor was delighted to receive a letter from the Queen.

You may also want to watch:

Honor, who has lived in the East End all her life, said: “I am very grateful that I have lived this long, to get to spend time with all my beautiful family. I cannot believe I am 100.

“I keep young because of my family and keep well eating jelled eels and drinking Guinness!

“I am really happy to be celebrating VE Day as I remember my husband coming home and really happy times and commemorating all the people that didn’t make it home,” Honor added.

During the war, Honor worked in bullet testing factory. Her husband William, a waterman on the River Thames by trade, sailed landing craft to France at the D-Day Normandy landings in 1944. William died aged 96. But not before the couple celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.

Granddaughter Joanne Lawless said: “He loved to wear his medals and often went over to France with the veterans.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the East London Advertiser