NANCY Billings, a former munitions worker from Hereford, has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Mrs Billings was born in a village near Coventry and came to Hereford in the Second World War to live with her brother and sister-in-law, and started work at the munitions factory at Rotherwas.

“They told us that we had to do something to help the war effort and they asked me if I’d like to work in a kitchen,” she said. “Well, I wasn’t going to spend my time peeling spuds so I decided I’d work in the munitions factory.”

In July 1942, the shed in which Mrs Billings was working was hit by a German bomb. She survived as her friend, Betty Campbell, grabbed her hand and pulled her to safety. Many of Mrs Billings's friends and colleagues lost their lives that day.


After the war, she married John and they had three children – David, Andrew and Julie. Mrs Billings has five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She worked at Granada Publishing in St Albans for many years before moving back to Hereford in 1988.

She is very proud of her time working as a Canary Girl at ROF Rotherwas and was one of the former munitions workers who travelled to Downing Street to meet the then Prime Minister Theresa May in October 2018.

She loves meeting fellow Rotherwas workers and their families and has featured in a number of BBC documentaries about World War Two and the munitions factories. Most recently, she has featured on BBC Hereford & Worcester's Nicola Goodwin's podcast, The Body in the Tree, about a mysterious unsolved case from 1943.

She is a whiz at quizzes and loves watching sport and concerts on television. She spent her birthday on Tuesday (May 2) having tea and cake with her family and friends.