Lancaster war heroine Rose who beat Covid set to celebrate 100th birthday

Family and friends are getting ready to mark the milestone 100th birthday of a "remarkable" Lancaster woman.

By Faiza Afzaal
Tuesday, 10th August 2021, 12:30 pm
Birthday girl Rose Corbett
Birthday girl Rose Corbett

A surviving former ammunition factory worker - who risked her life for the war effort, Rosetta Corbett, affectionately called Rose, will celebrate her very special birthday on Thursday (August 12th).

Having battled and overcome coronavirus over the past 12 months, Rose remains in high spirits and is waiting for a congratulatory card from Her Majesty, the Queen.

Born on August 12th, 1921, in London's East End, during the Second World War Rose was among thousands of women risking their lives to work in an ammunition factory in ROF Swynnerton, supplying troops with Spitfire bullets and black powder. The brave women were known as Swynnerton Roses. According to her family, due to the dangerous nature of the work there were injuries and deaths at the site.

Rose Corbett with her nephew, Nick Garner

Her nephew, Nick Garner, said: "For the people that worked on site, mainly women, the work was hard, filling bomb and shell-casings with explosive materials. but Rose has fond memories of her time there and often talks at length about that period in her life if anyone is interested to ask."

After the war ended, Rose lived in Aldgate in London and met the love of her life, Harry Corbett. The couple married and enjoyed many happy years together until sadly Harry died at a very young age. After Harry’s death, Rose remained very much a part of the family that she had married into. With little blood family of her own, she stayed very close to her sister-in-;law, Ellen. It was in the early 1990s that Rose decided to move to Lancaster.

Throughout the years, Rose worked many jobs, however, the one she loved the most was working on the factory floor of the Tate and Lyle sugar firm in London.

A former massive supporter of West Ham United Football Club, Rose would follow her beloved club's performances throughout the season.

During her time living in Beck View, Lancaster, Rose led a very indepedent lifestyle doing her own shopping and enjoying attending social events such as bingo, dinners and anything else Beck View had to offer. Sadly, following a heart attack and fall she stopped leaving her flat, but she still remembers the events and has made many friends during her time there.

Describing her as a remarkable person, Nick said: "The thing that amazes me most about Rose is how she just 'gets on' with anything that is thrown her way, including having Covid!

"She has lived through so much during her long life and experienced hardships that I can only begin to imagine that she refuses to complain about anything. I’m sure her experiences as a child and a young woman during the war have made her the person she is today."