Friday, 24 June 2011


Every day something new happens, building up to my birthday on July 4th when my second book "One Woman's War" published by Candy Jar Books  is launched in a superb hardback version. I look at the post each morning and wonder what is the next surprise. Yesterday I received three letters - one from a WAAF who had served during the war as an Instrument Repairer, a vital job and the second from a Squadron Leader who had become a Filterer Officer like me, and it transpires that I was his training Officer at RAF Bawdsey when he first joined up. He went on to serve in Filter Rooms overseas  including India, Ceylon and the Cocos Keeling Islands. Speaking subsequently to him by phone, the third piece of news came from a Wing Commander Bomber Commander. I wonder where the next surprise is coming from?


Monday, 20 June 2011


Out of the blue I have received a letter from a WAAF airwoman who worked with me in the 11 Group Filter Room and  who knew me by my maiden name   Eileen Le Croissette! It shows how we kept secrets - I never knew about this secret operation - The Rocket Room.- This is her letter:-

Mary  -------------

WAAF 1941-1946  Cpl 448876

Innsworth Lane
, Glos; Leighton Buzzard Plotter School
1941-3: 12 Group Watnall
1943-6:  11 Group, Stanmore, Bentley Priory, down the Hole, then moved to Hill House

20th June 2011

Dear Mrs Younghusband

It has been a great pleasure to read your “One Woman’s War”. Your letter to the press “Filtered Out” thrilled my Filter friends. “Ops” always had the publicity, but you highlighted the frantic work on the Filter Room table, describing the Radar Chain, and how the system was unknown.

To discover you were S/O Le Croissette was amazing, remembering you at Stanmore, down the “Hole” and at Hill House.  As a plotter, I did most duties from Teller, Filter Office’s Clerk for Y Service, plotting on all stations - Beachy Head on D-Day, with the mass raid of 1,000 A/C.

So far, nothing has been written about the Rocket Office, my last duty.  Why?  This small office built onto the rear of the Filter Room, manned by two, sometimes three officers plus one NCO, contained a long switchboard of phone lines, alarm bells, a place for the recorder; on the side, just enough room for a large map to trace the firing points of each “incident” to landing, and final Home Office report of casualties and damage. The first V2 on September 8th.

The Office was manned from about August 20th. I cannot remember the names of the officers, except Betty Wix (666!) and Pat Robbins (daughter of the novelist, Denise Robbins).

After much waiting around, the officers used to go up to the Rest Room for a break, having given me strict instructions to sound the alarm if anything happened.  Alone, I was terrified every time a call came, but many were for Pat Robbins, from an American officer called HAM!  Pat produced the humour of the team, often asking for advice and suggestions on the current story she was writing.

Thursday, 16 June 2011


Recently I gave a talk to Class 3, about my experience as a WAAF Officer during the last war, at All Saints Primary School at Barry, Vale of Glamorgan. These  eight-year olds had previously visited The Imperial War Museum and their class room was decorated with WW2 memorabilia - a cut-out evacuation train with their own photos pasted in the windows, fighter and bomber aircraft, the emotive words THE BLITZ, HITLER, NAZIS together with Ration books and Identity Cards.

They listened avidly to my description of the job of the Filter Room, the lynchpin of the Radar system. When I showed them a film of the work done at Fighter Command Headquarters' Filter Room, they were engrossed.
At the end they asked over twenty questions. "Had I met Anne Frank?" "No," I said. "Did I ever see Winston Churchill." "Yes," was my answer. "Did we have to be good at Maths to work there?" And the questions continued...  I spent one of my most interesting and enjoyable two hours with them. The culmination was finding in my letter box two days ago an envelope containing twenty-nine hand-made cards from these children with drawings on the front and delightful messages inside. Here a few samples of these delightful children's efforts.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011


Thinking about how I am going to celebrate my 90th birthday - I will have to do the catering myself and have invited 50+ friends! Will have to draw on all my previous hotel and catering know-how! Am having a "Wander Inn" at my house from midday to 1900 hours so I get a chance to talk to people. Hope the weather keeps fine so we can spread out. A  young lady, who is the 10-year-old daughter of my wonderful eye surgeon who is warding off the Wet Macular Degeneration of my left eye so marvellously, is a great pastry cook. She has offered  to make a selection of cakes for me  - a drizzle cake, a carrot cake and lots of vanilla or chocolate cup cakes.  I can see she will have a great career in front of her!