Former Women's Auxilary Air Force member celebrates turning 100


Joan pictured on her 100th birthday. - Credit: Maureen Collen

A former Women's Auxilary Air Force member has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Ida Joan Lawrence, also known as Joan, celebrated her 100th birthday in the comfort of her own home in Beccles, Suffolk on Saturday, December 19 with some flowers and a card from the Queen.

Joan has a daughter and son-in-law, three grandchildren and three great grandchildren, two sister in their nineties and continues to live in her own home in Beccles despite sight problems.


Joan pictured enlisting for WAAF. - Credit: Maureen Collen

During the Second World War, Joan met her future husband Norman, who was stationed on searchlights in Bungay.

Joan was called up in 1941 to join the Women's Auxilary Air Force (WAAF) which involved her driving officers and airmen out to load bombs on to the planes.

Joan married Norman on February 14, 1942 and lived an interesting life together including surviving the winter of 1947 which left Ditchingham Dam severely more flooded than other parts of the UK.


Joan Lawrence. - Credit: Maureen Collen

Joan and Norman moved to Beccles in 1983 and both did voluntary work at the Waveney Centre.

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Norman died in 1994 and Joan was eventually awarded the Robert Ellwood Plate in 2008 for her services.