FOLLOWING the VE celebrations and with COVID-19 maintaining its grip on the nation, it is said people of the war generation are made of sterner stuff-and 96-year-old war-time WREN Betty Plumb proves the point.
Betty, originally from Warrington and now living in Belong Care Home, served as a truck driver in the WRENs during the second world war, transporting troops. She tells all sorts of tales ‘driving 5ft wide vehicles through 4ft wide alleyways,’ and has many fond memories of those difficult years.
To celebrate her war-time role Betty’s children applied for a much-coveted war medal which she duly received a little while ago.
‘Mum is Percy Rigby’s daughter, and many will remember his Warrington-based Rigby’s Dairy business in Thelwall. During the war they lived in Greenalls Avenue but Mum, at 19, was desperate to leave home and do her bit,’ commented her son, Simon. ‘Percy took some convincing but eventually he let her join the WRENs and she says she had “a great war!” Also, May 6th 1945, the actual day of the ceasefire before VE Day, was her 21st birthday!’
Betty went on to marry Stan Plumb and have five children, 13 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. In her early married life she also ran a grocery store and delicatessen called The Dairy, in Stockton Heath, and served the town as a Magistrate for 25 years.
‘Recently, Mum was showing symptoms of COVID but has now fully recovered, thanks to the fantastic carers who look after her. There are lots of reasons to celebrate Mum’s life, not least that she came through this Pandemic unscathed, but that’s what we have come to expect from this very special generation,’ concluded Simon.