A FORMER Land Army girl has given a message to youngsters as she celebrates her 100th birthday.

Ellen Cannon, who lives at Penny Pot care home in Clacton, marked the occasion with a family meal.

Born two-and-a-half months premature, doctors told her parents she wouldn’t make it through the night.

But how wrong they were.

Mrs Cannon worked for the Girls’ Brigade before enlisting in the Women’s Land Army during the Second World War.

Mrs Cannon said: “When I went to the Women’s Land Army, I was 20 years old, and we were the first inscription of women.

“It was a lovely life, I was working in greenhouses, getting up at five in the morning and working really hard. I met some lovely girls too.”

She said she was lucky to be blessed with a fantastic husband and daughters.

Gazette: Ellen Cannon celebrates her 100th birthdayEllen Cannon celebrates her 100th birthday

She was married to Kenneth Cannon for 67 years before he died and they had two daughters, Valerie and Irene.

Mrs Cannon added: “Kenneth was a wonderful man, he died in 2009 and I wouldn’t have changed him for the world.

“We met when I was working for the Land Army, he was working in the Navy.

“After the war, he worked for Ford in Dagenham and moved on to Transport for London until he retired.

“I have two wonderful daughters as well; Irene lives far away in Surrey, so I don’t get to see her as much.

“Valerie lives nearby in Frinton, and I see her more regularly.”

Mrs Cannon worked in the catering industry after the war.

Travelling around London to cover for people when they were sick, she made teas and coffees until she retired.

She has been living at Penny Pot for just over a year and says the secret to a long life is to always have the things you enjoy.

Mrs Cannon added: “If I had a message to the youth, I would say be careful who you mix with and always be kind.”