A PLUCKY pensioner who cheated death twice has celebrated her 100th birthday with a card from the Queen.

Rose Robertson survived being shot at by the German Luftwaffe during the war and then beat the odds after a mystery illness almost killed her.

She was thrilled to receive an official birthday card from the Queen, telling carers at Stisted's Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court care home: “I can’t believe it!”

Rose was born in Stepney, east London, in May 1920, shortly after the end of the First World War.

The high-achiever won a scholarship to a good school and later landed a job with Nestle where she was quickly promoted.

Rose met and married late husband Bill in 1940 and the couple had five children – three boys and two girls. She now has lots of grandchildren, great grandchildren, and even great, great grandchildren.

Her family describe her as a "survivor" after she cheated death twice during her long life.

During the Second World War, Rose was out walking her first-born, pushing the pram down a street in Stepney.

Suddenly, a lone German plane appeared incredibly low in the sky above her.

She glanced up as the plane aimed towards her and her baby. She remembers thinking "well this is it" as she stood and stared at the gunner sitting in his bubble below the pilot.

Braintree and Witham Times:

  • Rose Robertson in the 1940s

He fired directly at her, but amazingly Rose was not hit by a single bullet.

In the early 1960s she was at death's door with a mystery illness.

In a last ditch bid to save her, surgeons started to operate – just as her appendix burst.

It was discovered that Rose's appendix was on the wrong side of her body.

Doctors later said if she had not been operated on at that moment, she would have died.

Rose says her greatest achievement in life was having her children.

Asked the secret of her long life, she said: “Be happy and surround yourself with people who love you.”

Care home activities co-ordinator Dani Lane said: “Rose had a lovely birthday and told us that she felt really good.

"She is an amazing woman, who is much loved at our home. She received some beautiful flowers and lots of presents and cards from her family and friends.”