Weekend of parties held to celebrate as Rose marks her 100th birthday

JPCT 110914 S14390120x Horsham. 100th Birthday of Rose Kemble -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141109-153347001
JPCT 110914 S14390120x Horsham. 100th Birthday of Rose Kemble -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141109-153347001

An inspirational lady from Horsham celebrated her 100th birthday last weekend.

Rose Kemble spent two days partying with her friends and family as they marked the milestone with a weekend of festivities along with some very happy news.

Rose was born in Southwark, London, on September 14, 1914, with a rare condition meaning she struggled to walk until the age of 14.

“I was in a bath chair for about five or six years and I had cycle mud guards or something like that on my legs,” she said. “My dad had some boots made for me and I could walk.”

After overcoming that hurdle Rose met Ernest Kemble and on September 15, 1934, they got married, at the age of 20.

The couple had two children, Larry and Jacqueline, and now also have six grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and five great great grandchildren.

She moved to Horsham 27 years ago to be closer to their family and Rose said she was very happy with the life she had led.

“I have had a lovely happy life and I love my family,” she said.

“I have had a good life with some happy times and some very sad times but I have always looked after myself.”

Rose has done very well in looking after herself for the past century but has also survived a few scares along the way.

“I nearly got shot in Kennington,” She said. “A low plane came over near the station.

“Somebody shouted out ‘get down’. I was laying in a gully otherwise we would have got shot.

“Another time I was walking through Kennington Park and I had someone give me such a smack on the back. We went into the bushes and the mud and a doodle bug few over the top of my head.”

Rose has also survived a battle with breast cancer.

“I had breast cancer just before my husband died and I was the last one to be operated on in Horsham Hospital. It was a funny old one and they took it down and made a proper hospital so they said to me you’re the last one to be done there.”

Despite these setbacks the 100-year-old never let them get her down and never seems to stop either.

If she is not attending St Mark’s Church, in North Heath Lane, Horsham, with her friends then she is knitting and creating handmade blankets for charity.

“I do it for the church and I do it for Africa and Chestnut Tree,” she said. “That’s what I do, I don’t get bored. I do shoe boxes, I do everything for charity.

“We save milk tops and I save coppers and they all go to Africa to an English couple out there.”

To celebrate her special birthday Rose spent the entire weekend partying. The first was at the church on the Saturday where they moved their annual harvest supper forward and had a meal and a barn dance in her honour. Rose then enjoyed a quiet family meal on her actual birthday.

She revealed her secrets on how she had managed to get to the 100 mark.

“Looking after yourself and being happy, “ she said.

“When I got married I said to myself I am not going to the door with a dirty apron on or looking untidy so I just carried on as I did when I was single.

“My husband always said ‘what is the point in being miserable’ and he was right, I never have been.”

One final surprise for Rose on her birthday was the birth of her fifth great great grandchild.

Amelia-Rose was born on the Sunday morning and shares her birthday with her great great grandmother.

It is now hoped that she will take the name forward for another 100 years.