SHE IS the “hard-working” woman who has just turned 103 following years of living through the harsh reality of World War Two.

Dorothy O’Connell celebrated her remarkable age on Sunday, while neighbours living near her Bitterne Park home sang her Happy Birthday and spoiled her with cards.

The grandmother-of-two, who was part of the Women’s Land Army working on two farms in Hampshire during the war, has previously been presented with recognition of her war service by Prince Charles.

When asked the secrets of her longevity, Dorothy said “hard work, guts and determination”.

She added: “I have achieved something not a lot of people do, I still go up and down the stairs, wash and dress myself, I walk a little bit and go out into the garden to sit down on a nice day.

“I remember everything, the only thing I have got is tinnitus so people have to speak clearly.”

Born in Portsmouth, the sixth child of eight Dorothy moved to Southampton when she was 11 and attended Foundry Lane School.

She left school aged 14 to work as a mothers’ help, providing support for mums caring for children in their homes, before going on to retail and becoming a buyer.

This was before WWII when she took to agriculture after training at Sparsholt Agricultural College.

Her daughter Liz said: “It’s quite an achievement and for her life anniversary to be taking place at this time, it’s quite interesting.”

Dorothy has lived in Bitterne Park for 62 years - having received a letter from the Queen at her milestone age of 100 three years ago - and continues to be part of the Land Army Association.

On her birthday, her next-door neighbour Peter Bailey decided to set up a surprise birthday sing-song for Dorothy along their street.

He said: “I thought it would be a good idea if we can all get her a birthday card each.

“Someone also said we should sing happy birthday at 11am on the day too - observing social distancing.”