Wartime evacuee celebrates her 100th birthday in Chadwell Heath

Gladys Reeve with her two daughters Carole Mitchel-More and Linda Kimm.

Gladys Reeve with her two daughters Carole Mitchel-More and Linda Kimm. - Credit: Archant

A wartime evacuee, who was forced to move to Northamptonshire with her young daughter during the Blitz, has celebrated reaching her hundredth birthday, with not one but two parties.

Gladys Reeve, of Rowalllan House, Little Heath, Chadwell Heath, marked her extra special birthday surrounded by her two daughters, six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren on Friday.

After suffering a stroke more than 10 years ago, the “strong minded” widow left Stratford in east London where she had lived all her life, and relocated to Redbridge.

Daughter Linda Kimm 66, of The Glade, Clayhall, said: “My mum would never give up and was such a home maker when me and my sisters, Carole and Jean were children. She always refused to look to the past and even now she’s thinking about the future.

“She loved having everyone around her on her birthday. She even had a sing song with all the old tunes she remembers when we held an extra party for her.”

The gardening enthusiast still loves watching sport, especially cricket and tennis, and in her younger days she regularly visited her husband’s favourite team, West Ham.

Mrs Kimm said: “My mum was so excited to celebrate her birthday, and all her carers have been counting down the days with her. She was on such a high at the weekend. She has received over 60 cards and her room is full of flowers.

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“When she opened her telegram from the Queen, she saw the white hair and thought it was her.”

After being evacuated to Kettering during World War Two with her eldest daughter, the former Plessey employee rarely spoke about her time away from London and instead focused on being a good mum and wife.

After losing her husband, William, 29 years ago, the elegant great-grandmother is still a “party animal” according to her children, and is happiest when spending time with friends and family.