A PIONEERING radar operator during the Second World War is set to celebrate a big milestone on Armistice Day.

Doris Rose will be 99-years-old on November 11 when the world remembers all of our war heroes.

Mrs Rose will celebrate her birthday but will also look back on the brutal conflict which played out during her early years.

Like many of her generation, she recalls losing many friends after joining the Auxilliary Territorial Service with the Royal Artillery at the tender age of 21 in 1941.

She said: “I was in the radar section using the first edition of radar to give instructions to gun posts. We had a receiver and transmitter. We got the information in and transferred it to the gun post.

“Radar had a considerable impact during the war, giving us vital information but when I think of the technology now, I struggle to use my mobile phone. It’s all moved so fast.”

Apart from failing eyesight and difficulties caused by a broken hip Mrs Rose manages to look after herself at her home in Westcliff. She looks back at the war with a mixture of feelings.

She said: “I was called up at Guildford where I got my training. I was sent to Oswestry and then Anglesey and finally to London, stationed at Gunnersbury Park, Acton. I met my husband Harry and fell pregnant and left the Army in 1944 to have my son John.

“It was a terrifying time but we all just got on with it. I didn’t want to leave the Army and I was awfully annoyed with all the girls I worked with who were transferred to Amalfi in Italy after I left.”

Sadly, Harry died in 1978. Mrs Rose’s subsequent partner Lewis also died in 2004 but her son, John, 75, lives nearby in Thorpe Bay.

Her impending birthday will stir some poignant memories for Mrs Rose.

She said: “The day always brings back lots of memories. I always feel very emotional thinking of all the young men I knew who were killed. It was like another world.

“I lived through the Blitz and can remember the Battle of Britain. Going into the Army with a crowd of girls opens your eyes to a lot of things. It was very interesting and very exiting. We didn’t think of the danger. Things went on around you and you took it as it came.”

She added: “My eyesight is not good now. I can’t see the TV and can’t read but I still feel young. I’m almost 99 but I feel 19.”