Former cook, who was mentioned in despatches, celebrates 100th birthday

A former school cook who was mentioned in despatches for her work with the WAAF will celebrate her 100th birthday tomorrow.

Eileen Nicholson served as a cook at various RAF bases in Lincolnshire during the Second World War, then settled in Storrington with her family.

She started work at Rydon Secondary School and remained there as cook for many years.

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Eileen now lives at Victoria Grand care home, in Mill Road, Worthing, and will be celebrating her 100th birthday tomorrow with safe visits from the family.

Eileen Nicholson served as a cook in the WAAF. Picture: Justine Claire

Son Roy Nicholson said: “Obviously, with the current restrictions, visiting her is difficult. Some family members will be meeting through her window on the day and the care home staff are laying something on for her.”

Eileen was born in Brighton on June 5, 1920. She worked at a bakery in Trafalgar Street before the war and met her husband Dennis in 1937. They were married in January 1940 and went on to have three children, Derek, Roy and Deidre.

Roy said: “During the war, she served as a cook in the WAAF, at various RAF bases in Lincolnshire, and was mentioned in despatches.

“Mum then worked as a cook at Rydon secondary school for many years, until both her and dad retired in 1985.

Eileen and Dennis on their wedding day in January 1940

“Dad died in 2013, shortly after their 73rd wedding anniversary, and Mum continued to live in the family home until last year, when she moved to the Victoria Grand.”

Eileen has three grandchildren and two great grandchildren, who she adores.

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