A GREAT great grandmother who has lived through two world wars says there is no secret to old age.

Winifred Rumble, from Epping, will celebrate her 104th birthday on May 29, and is still going strong.

Mrs Rumble, who has five grandchildren, eight great grandchildren and two grandchildren, remembers her “dreadful” time catering for her town during the war and spending her evenings in a bomb shelter in her back garden.

Sylvia Bourne, 82, Mrs Rumble’s daughter, said: “We were together throughout the blitz. It was a dreadful time. She used to work seven days a week, cooking at a school and then down in the shelters for the bombed out people. She worked all her life, but she has been a wonderful mother at a terrifying time.”

Mrs Bourne’s father was a soldier during WWII and was taken as a prisoner of war in Japan. When he came back he was severely unwell and this took a toll on their family.

She added: “We did not know if he was alive or not for at least a year. He was very lucky to come home. He was never the same but he did survive. When he came back he 13 severe cases of malaria. My mother carried on though, she was very strong throughout.”

Mrs Rumble’s husband worked at Ilford Council, before retiring. He died in 1978, when he was 68.

She is due to be released from hospital next week, just in time for her to celebrate her birthday.

Mrs Bourne says her mother has a great sense of humour, and when she is asked what the secret to her old age is, she says “there is no secret, but if there was, I would not tell you anyway.”

She added: “My mother believes the world has totally changed. If only we could go back to the days that were. The world now is a terrible place. The violence that goes on, the lack of discipline in schools. Just generally, things are so different. She says ‘all of this would not have been allowed in my day.’

“She is a very kind person. She would help anybody.”