Woman whose house was bombed in the war celebrates 100th birthday

Margery Millican, from Great Yarmouth, celebrated her 100th birthday on July 21.

Margery Millican, from Great Yarmouth, celebrated her 100th birthday on July 21. - Credit: Submitted

A woman whose house was bombed during the Second World War has celebrated her 100th birthday with a letter from the Queen.

On May 30, 1942, Margery Hammond was returning from Bedford, where she was working in a munitions factory, to her home in Great Yarmouth. 

She was sitting in Norwich railway station, waiting for a train, while the horizon flashed and boomed with the spotlights and fires of an air raid.

Margery Millican Great Yarmouth

Margery Millican, from Great Yarmouth, celebrates her 100th birthday on Wednesday (July 21) with a letter from the Queen. - Credit: Julie Green

When she arrived in Yarmouth, she was greeted at the station by her mother and father, as well as an air-raid steward, who told her that her house, on Albany Road in Southtown, had been bombed and her pregnant sister-in-law had been killed.

Almost 21 years earlier, Margery was born on Ferry Lane before attending Edward Worlledge Primary School.

Margery Millican

Margery Millican, who celebrated her 100th birthday on July 21, with her great-great-grandson in Gorleston. - Credit: Submitted

Her first job was at Hills restaurant but she was sacked after being found eating a vanilla slice in the cellar.

Later, she worked The Aquarium but had to leave when she contracted quinsy and diphtheria from handling dirty money.

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In 1943, she married Jack Millican, who worked in a grocery shop and during the war served with the RAF in Africa.

Jack and Margery Millican on their wedding day in 1943.

Jack and Margery Millican on their wedding day in 1943. - Credit: Submitted

Their first child was born in 1944 and Ms Millican moved to a prefab on Oak Road in Gorleston.

In 1946, after giving birth to another daughter, they were one of the first families to move to the new Magdalen Estate. Her granddaughter Julie Green said it was place she "absolutely loved".

The family had two more boys, while Ms Millican worked as a dinner lady at Peterhouse Primary school.

She now lives in her own house in Gorleston.

Margery Millican, from Great Yarmouth, celebrated her 100th birthday on July 21.

Margery Millican, from Great Yarmouth, who celebrated her 100th birthday on July 21. - Credit: Submitted

When she was 76, Ms Millican went to a Mavericks concert and danced in the aisles and at 80 years old she went for a flight over Norwich.

Ms Green said: "Whatever happens, whatever she does, her favourite saying is, 'I'm so privileged'."

Her family had originally planned to have a celebratory gathering on Thursday (July 22), but rising Covid infections across the borough and people needing to isolate postponed those plans.

Instead, various family members have been visiting her over the last few days.




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