A great-grandmother who vowed never to eat Italian food again after her husband was held captive has broken that seven-decade pact.
Audrey Prudence, 94, made the pact when her husband was taken hostage by Mussolini’s forces.
But following a stroke in January she decided to lift the ban by eating a Hawaiian (ham and pineapple pizza) and enjoyed it so much she ‘can’t believe she had resisted for so long’.
Granddaughter Emma Coates, 41, said in recent years Audrey had started making spaghetti bolognese but had never taken the plunge and eaten pizza.
They decided to make a bucket list, including eating pizza, while her ‘feisty Granny Pru’ was recovering from a stroke in hospital.
Emma said: ‘She loved her pizza and cannot wait to try another and she wants the same toppings as before.
‘But she has asked for it to be “not burned” as my sister burned the crust but cut them off so she would not know, but there is nothing you can get by my nan.’
Audrey lost husband Jack, 89, 10 years ago but kept up their joint pact after he almost starved to death during his time as a prisoner of war in Italy.
The family had been left traumatised after Jack was held captive for three-and-a-half years, with two in Germany and one in Italy, where he survived on just a bowl of celery soup a day.
He had joined the British Army aged 18 but the Desert Rat was captured by Germans in North Africa in 1942.
The soldier told family he was treated well at the first camps, describing the Germans as ‘quite polite’.
Audrey, a wartime nurse, and Jack, who were married for 63 years, still enjoyed German food such as apple strudel but boycotted Italian food after the horrific treatment he received.
Emma recalled stories her grandfather shared of his traumatic ordeal in Italy.
She said: ‘His treatment in Germany was much better – they shared their rations out with him and they let him keep his jewellery.
‘But when he was moved to Italy, the Italians took all his jewellery off him, gave him hard labour work and he was made to live on just celery soup once a day.
‘He got very malnourished and that caused him a lot of health problems later in life.’
Audrey still stays loyal to her British roots, however, with her favourite dish being gammon and chips.
Next on the her bucket list is another culinary experience of heading to an Indian buffet for her 95th, a girls’ holiday with her daughter-in-law, and making it to 100 to receive a coveted letter from the Queen.