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

Honor Harber celebrated her 100th birthday in April and will be singing along to Dame Vera Lynn as t

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 - Credit: 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 Lawless

Honor's husband William with his wartime pals. Picture: Joanne Lawless - Credit: Archant

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.

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.


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“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.

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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.”

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