Great grandma Millie hits a century after some hard but happy times

Millie Turnbull at her party
Millie Turnbull at her party
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A GREAT-grandmother who hit on an ingenious way to make money during the war celebrated her 100th birthday last week.

Millie Turnbull, of Filsham Road, St Leonards, was thrown a surprise party by her fellow members of the Royal British Legion at the Unitarian Meeting Place in South Terrace.

And Mrs Turnbull, who received 150 cards to mark her big day including her telegram from the Queen, was overwhelmed. She said: “I just thought I was going for an ordinary meeting so it was a complete surprise and a lovely thought.

“I did not think I would reach this age. I was born into a working class family and have had quite a hard life, but I have lived it well.”

Born in Platt’s Heath in Kent in 1911, Mrs Turnbulll moved up to London aged 15 where she worked as a servant in Belgrave Square, before going on to become a manager in the J Lyons catering company. She married Cecil in 1937 and after the war started they moved back to Harrietsham in Kent.

“I did anything I could – picked hops, picked apples – you name it I picked it. I cadged the army blankets from the lads and made them into overcoats which I sold, and I also sold underwear made out of parachute silk.”

She later went on to juggle six jobs, riding from one to another on her bike, so she could provide for her three children.

They have repaid her with three grandchildren and three great grandchildren who have all helped her celebrate her milestone.