Mrs Alice Grace Lillian ‘Lil’ Jones.
A LADY of true cockney heritage, and an Island resident for more than 30 years, has died aged 93.
Alice Grace Lillian Jones, known as Lil to her friends, was born on April 5, 1919, in Bermondsey, London, the only cockney area south of the Thames.
The niece of the Pearly King and Queen of Hampstead, she started work at 14 years old in a paper bag factory, which, along with her home, was bombed during the war.
Mrs Jones joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the women’s branch of the army, and worked as part of the anti-aircraft crews, watching for enemy aircraft with radar and searchlights. Members of the ATS included Mary Churchill, Winston Churchill’s youngest daughter, and the Queen.
Towards the end of the war, Mrs Jones and her fellow ATS members were sent to prisoner of war camps in Belgium, to help free women prisoners, as they were terrified of anyone in uniform. They had to show the women the showers were just showers, and they were not going to kill them.
After the war, Mrs Jones went into bookbinding and it was while working for a printing works in Kentish Town she met her husband, Leslie Jones. She was sitting on a milk churn having her lunch when he walked passed, admired her legs, and asked her out.
They were married later that year, and had two children, John, 64, and Linda, 60.
Mr and Mrs Jones moved to Shanklin 31 years ago, before Mr Jones died in 1987.
Mrs Jones’s daughter, Linda Keefe, said: "Mum was in the Townswomen’s Guild and the Red Cross. She was very community spirited."
She added: "In Gone With The Wind, Vivien Leigh said 'tomorrow is another day’. She was just like my mum. She had a real zest for life."
A service to celebrate Mrs Jones’s life will be held at noon on Wednesday at the IW Crematorium, Whippingham, with her favourite music by Glenn Miller.
To send flowers, or to make a donation to the British Heart Foundation, contact William Hall funeral directors on 01983 868688.