Lucky Sheffield gran who survived WWII bomb delighted to celebrate 100th birthday

Grace Craven celebrated her 100th birthday with a special celebration for friends and family in Sheffield.
Grace Craven celebrated her 100th birthday with a special celebration for friends and family in Sheffield.
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A Sheffield gran left unharmed when a WWII bomb exploded metres away says she is 'delighted' after celebrating her 100th birthday.

Great grandmother Grace Craven celebrated the amazing milestone among friends and family - many of which flew in from America - on Wednesday.

A group shot and Grace and Hugh's wedding.

A group shot and Grace and Hugh's wedding.

According to the city's latest centenarian, she is extra delighted to be alive after being diagnosed with a weak heart aged 10 - and then surviving a bombing during World War Two.

Recalling the tale, Grace said she was woken up by the air raid siren so bundled up the children and headed to the shelter in the back garden.

She said: "The all clear sound went a while later so I put the children to bed and got tucked up myself. Everything went quiet and then I heard the sound of a plane.

"At first I thought it must be one of ours, but then I heard this whistling sound and knew it was a missile heading for us.

Grace met husband Hugh Craven on Christmas Eve in 1933. They married at St Stephens Church on December 24, 1937.

Grace met husband Hugh Craven on Christmas Eve in 1933. They married at St Stephens Church on December 24, 1937.

"I sat up in bed and the bomb landed outside a few yards away.

"The windows bent towards me and all the glass shattered and landed in the wall behind me.

"Not a single shard touched me, though. I think somebody must have been looking down on me that day."

Grace was the second of five children and was raised near Infirmary Road.

Grace Craven celebrated her 100th birthday with a special celebration for friends and family in Sheffield.

Grace Craven celebrated her 100th birthday with a special celebration for friends and family in Sheffield.

Aged 14 she left school to help her mother run the home and remembers chores such as cleaning the outside toilet, black lead, cellar grate and sweeping the outside steps.

When Grace was 15 she started work in an umbrella factory close to Infirmary Road and remembers the heat of the factory. Three years later she started working in a razor blade factory.

Grace met husband Hugh Craven, known to everyone as Sonny, on Christmas Eve in 1933.

They pair married at St Stephen’s Church near Bramwell Street on Christmas Eve in 1937 and they had two children together, Gerald and Barbara Grace.

Grace now has seven grand daughters and one grandson, four great grand daughters, 10 great grandsons, three great great grand daughters and one great great grandson.

Grace said: "It has been an amazing day and I'm delighted to celebrate it with my family."

On the secret to a long life, she said: "I've always been mindful of what I eat - never had too big portions. I've never really been a smoker or a drinker either."

And it seems Grace has good family genes as brothers Bill and Ken Westermen are 96 and 89 respectively.