Resilient Rosa celebrates 100th birthday having survived two world wars and an explosion

Rosa White, at her 100th birthday

Rosa White, at her 100th birthday - Credit: Archant

A woman who was born in Germany during the First World War, survived another global conflict and a major explosion at her house has celebrated her 100th birthday.

EADT NEWSRosa White stands in her grandson, Jans Schafar's, bedroom in her Brandon home after is wa

EADT NEWSRosa White stands in her grandson, Jans Schafar's, bedroom in her Brandon home after is was devastated by fire.Pix Phil Morley 4/1/09

Rosa White, toasted her century on November 7, surrounded by friends and family at her home in Heron Avenue, Brandon.

Mrs White was born in the German town of Guben in 1915, lived through two world wars, the rise and fall of the Nazis - including witnessing Hitler at a rally during the 1930s - before moving to England in 1950.

She initially lived on the Isle of Wight and in Southampton, before moving to Brandon with her husband Richard in the mid 1970s.

The couple moved into what were brand new Bennetts Homes in Heron Avenue, and she has lived in the same house ever since.

She raised two sons, Wolfgang and Gunther, and has two grandchildren.

Known by her neighbours for her kind, unassuming nature and energy, Mrs White was cooking for herself and heading to the shops alone well into her 90s.

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She said her secret to a long life was keeping busy.

“I always walked a lot, especially as a nurse. You also need to eat well and sleep a lot,” she said.

She even survived a major explosion in 2009, at the age of 93, when her grandson, Jens Schafer, was badly injured after a gas leak at her home.

Mrs White was in the next room when a butane tank exploded, and described the experience as the most terrifying of her life at the time.

Her birthday party saw around 30 visitors enjoying cake and sherry to celebrate the day.

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