This past year has been a more than eventful 365 days. My second book, dedicated to the WAAF of the Filter Rooms of Fighter Command was published initially in an exclusive limited soft back edition in January by Candy Jar Books of Cardiff. This is a young company run by Shaun and Justin, two enterprising young men with media and photographic backgrounds. On my 90th birthday, it was launched as a hard back edition at RAF St. Athan. That day I shared my birthday with the Commanding Officer, Wing Commandeer Williams, the only difference being that he was half my age and twice my height!
We toured the camp in a jeep called Queenie, designed like a Popemobile for our Queen when she toured
Candy Jar are great publicists and this has led to so many activities. I have given twenty-six talks to varying groups, ranging from a wonderful class of eight year olds in a Primary school in Barry to a bunch of Radio Hams; and from Bletchley Manor, where I was presented with the Freedom of Bletchley and a veterans badge as a member of a Bletchley outstation, to Rotary clubs and
I was invited to the St. David’s Day dinner in the City Hall in
A recent visit to Aces High Aviation Gallery in Wendover, Bucks saw me signing vast numbers of aviation memorabilia for aeronautical fans in the company of four wonderful Battle of Britain fighter pilots, one of whom was Geoffrey Wellum, the author of First Light, two WAAF airwomen, and four great American Mustang pilots. Our ages totted up to almost one thousand years but everyone was “with it”! There was also a short appearance in the fourth episode of Channel 4’s saga, entitled WW2 - the Last Heroes and another one in a series for ITV. But what I have enjoyed most is all the interesting people I have met during the year, including several WAAF colleagues who have made contact again after all these years. One of these is Patricia Robins who writes both under that name and also Claire Lorrimer. She has written 80 books and is still doing so – definitely puts me in the shade.
I have been thrilled to talk to Emma Soames, Winston Churchill’s granddaughter who contributed a foreword for One Woman’s War, and to make contact with Dame Vera Lynn who contributed an endorsement.
The final surprise for the year has been finding again the little girl Hélène, then five years old, to whom together with her two brothers I taught French in Contrexeville in the summer of 1938. This was the year of the
Thanks to the wonderful care of my eye surgeon, Chris Gorman, we have managed to keep Wet Macular Degeneration at bay but it is a constant battle. I have just had my 30 eye injection with the drug Lucentis. I must admit I walk like an old woman but I keep my brain active, if not my body. I thank my many friends for their support and their kindnesses.