Blitz veteran who narrowly escaped death during raid celebrates 100th birthday - The Solihull Observer

Blitz veteran who narrowly escaped death during raid celebrates 100th birthday

Solihull Editorial 5th Oct, 2023   0

A SECOND World War veteran who narrowly escaped death during the Blitz in Manchester has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Elsie Ellis marked her centenary with a party at the Home with family and fellow residents at Solihull’s Royal Star and Garter Home.

She was born in 1923 and grew up in Salford, Greater Manchester and was just 15 when war was declared.

At the age of 16, she volunteered as a Cyclist Messenger with the Air Raid Precautions where she took messages from warden to their headquarters.

Elsie said: “It was a dangerous job with bombs going off, the guns were firing and the shrapnel was falling and hitting the streets and making sparks.

“On one occasion a bomb hit a surface air-raid shelter.

“I’d been there a few moments earlier and had been talking to the warden outside.

“Everyone was killed, but I was just turning the corner.

“The blast from the bomb caught me and blew me off my bike.”

Elsie joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) at 18, where she became a Wireless Operator Mechanic at RAF Cranwell and was posted to Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire where she tested the wireless equipment in aircraft before flights.

The Home, which cares for veterans and their loved ones living with disability or dementia, hosted a party for Elsie on her big day, where she was joined by other residents and family, and enjoyed a celebratory glass of prosecco.

She also tucked into a birthday cake, and was also given flowers and a gift from the Home, before entertainer Debbie Miles came in to sing.

The day before, the great grandmother had enjoyed a large family get-together at Hogarths Hotel in Solihull.

Elsie’s daughter and granddaughter, Adrienne and Emma, said: “Elsie is loved by her family and has set a wonderful example of a wise and loving parent,

grandparent, great-grandparent.

“She is so valued by her whole family who are so delighted to celebrate this momentous occasion.

“Elsie and her family are so grateful to Royal Star and Garter for the caring, hospitable, supportive, friendly and welcoming home they continue to provide.

“We have so much to thank them for, they are undoubtedly gold standard and have contributed to her wellbeing and health for almost eight years.”


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