A CLACTON resident celebrated her 100th birthday earlier this month.

Ellen Cannon, who currently resides at Penny Pot care home marked the occasion with a family meal at The Bell Inn Bistro in Thorpe-le-Soken.

Born two and a half months premature, doctors told her parents she wouldn’t make it through the night.

She worked for the girls’ brigade before enlisting in the women’s land army during the second world war.

Mrs Cannon said: “When I went to the women’s land army, I was 20 years old, and we were the first inscription of women.

“It was a lovely life, I was working in greenhouses, getting up at five in the morning and working really hard, I met some lovely girls too.”

However, she also says she was very lucky to be blessed with a fantastic husband and daughters.

She was married to Kenneth Cannon for 67 years before he passed away and they had two daughters, Valerie and Irene.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Mrs Cannon added: “Kenneth was a wonderful man, he died in 2009 and I wouldn’t have changed him for the world.

“We met when I was working for the land army, he was working in the navy.

“After the war, he worked for Ford motors in Dagenham and moved on to Transport for London until he retired.”

“I have two wonderful daughters as well; Irene lives far away in Surrey, so I don’t get to see her as much.

“Valerie lives near by in Frinton, and I see her more regularly.”

Mrs Cannon worked in the catering industry after her tenure with the land army ended.

Travelling around London to cover for people when they were off work, she made teas and coffees until she retired.

She has been living at Penny Pot for just over a year and says the secret to a long life is to always have the things you enjoy.

Mrs Cannon added: “If I had a message to the youth, it would say be careful who you mix with and always be kind.”