Lothian and Borders Police revealed yesterday that the 68-year-old stood up to a balaclava-clad robber who demanded she hand over her bag.
The incident happened just after 10pm on Wednesday when the woman was walking towards Wester Inch village along Old Well Road in Bathgate.
As she approached the Tollbraes Road junction, a man confronted her and demanded her bag.
She refused – then clobbered him with her walking stick. The pair then struggled as the robber tried to snatch her bag.
A police spokesman said: “The man demanded the woman hand over her bag. However, she refused and struck him with her walking stick
“As a result of the struggle, the woman fell to the ground and the man made off towards Blackburn Road with her bag.
“A resident who heard the disturbance came to help the woman and police were then called.
“The elderly victim showed great courage when she refused to hand over her bag.
“Anyone who was in the area and remembers seeing anything suspicious, either before or after the incident, is asked to contact police immediately.”
The man was white, 28 to 40 years old, between 5ft 2ins and 5ft 5ins tall with a slim build. He wore a dark jacket.
Witnesses can contact police on 0131-311 3131, or the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555 111.