A happy 100th birthday for Havant's Barbara Harman

Barbara Harman celebrated her 100th birthday on September 4.

Friday, 13th September 2019, 2:42 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th September 2019, 11:24 am
Barbara Harman at her birthday party.

The birthday girl, who lived in the Portsmouth area for 97 years, enjoyed her centenary celebrations with her close friends and family.

As a young woman, she lived in Southsea and worked as a secretary in Old Portsmouth throughout the heavy bombing of the city during the Blitz in the Second World War.

Barbara, nee Croyde, married Maurice Harman during the war, saying it was ‘a very happy occasion, even though a bomb had destroyed our wedding reception venue shortly beforehand’.

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Barbara and Maurice Harman on their wedding day.

Later in the war she worked on the teleprinters at Shell Petroleum in Southampton. During the night of the D-Day invasion she was in an underground office sending messages for the PLUTO (Pipeline Under The Ocean) – a major operation to get vital fuel across the Channel to France for the invasion force. Maurice worked at the law courts for more than 40 years while Barbara looked after their children Diane and Graham.

After she was widowed in her early 60s, Barbara devoted a lot of time to work with Portsmouth charities, including the NSPPC, the Frank Sorrell Foundation, Portsmouth Hospital League of Friends and, particularly, the Queen Alexandra Rocky Appeal. She did voluntary work in the QA shop each week until, at the age of 90, she decided she would have to give up driving.

When she was in her late 70s she developed a thirst for travel and visited Europe, the Far East, New Zealand, North America and the Caribbean with a close friend.

Three years ago, Barbara made the move from Havant to Milton Keynes to be nearer to her daughter.

On her birthday, Barbara enjoyed a special lunch with her son Graham and daughter Diane near her home. When she arrived back at her care home, she was surprised with a birthday tea party organised by residents and staff.

And the celebrations did not stop there, as she recently celebrated with more than 20 family members, including her four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, at a garden party.