North East Connected

WW2 Women’s Air Force veteran celebrates her 21st birthday on VE Day – 76 years late

A SECOND World War Women’s Royal Air Force veteran was among those who celebrated the 75th anniversary of VE Day at a Hartlepool care home.

Isabella Crilley, 96, enjoyed a party at Queens Meadow Care Home, on Stockton Road, alongside her fellow residents.

The party was extra-special for Isabella as staff also decided to mark her 21st birthday – having been unable to do so in 1944 due to the War.

Isabella served in the Women’s Royal Air Force during the War, being stationed at Partington, near Manchester, where she met her future husband Charles Crilley, who was also in the RAF.

After the War ended, Isabella and Charles had three children, Ronnie, Christine and Angela, and lived in Hartlepool.

Isabella moved into Queens Meadow Care Home in November 2018. The home’s kitchen staff baked her a 21st birthday cake for the occasion, which she shared with her fellow residents and carers.

Julie Armstrong, home manager at Queens Meadow Care Home, said: “Everyone at Queens Meadow Care Home was looking forward to commemorating the 75th anniversary of VE Day along with the rest of the country.

“We wanted to make the occasion extra special for one of our residents, Isabella Crilley, as she had served during the War.

“Isabella was just 16 when the War broke out but later joined the Women’s Royal Air Force and was in service during her 21st birthday, so she wasn’t able to celebrate.

“When we learned about this, the kitchen staff decided to bake her a cake with candles and we all sang her a happy birthday.

“Everyone also enjoyed watching the re-broadcast of Winston Churchill’s speech as well as the Queen’s address to the nation.”

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