Friday, 31 May 2013


Hot off her success at The People's Book Prize awards ceremony and her British Empire Medal (BEM), Eileen finds herself getting some well-deserved recognition for her achievments in today's edition of the South Wales Echo:

Eileen Younghusband with her award-winning book 'One Woman's War'.

Thursday, 30 May 2013


Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce that author Eileen Younghusband has been named winner of The People’s Book Prize in the non-fiction 2012/2013 category.

From left to right: TPBP Winners: Griselda Heppel (Ante’s Inferno), Tatiana Wilson (TPBP Founder),
Eileen Younghusband (One Woman’s War), Frederick Forsyth CBE (TPBP Patron), Tony Humpreys
(TPBP Director), Amy Elliott-Smith (A Guide to Becoming Distinctly Average), William Ayot (E-Mail
From the Soul)
Beating the competition of twelve other entries, it marks a proud moment in Eileen’s extraordinary life, as well as being a significant development in Candy Jar’s publishing career. The national literary prize, The People’s Book Prize had been accepting votes since reopening on May 21st. Candy Jar Books had two finalists shortlisted for the prize, Terry Cooper and Eileen Younghusband. Both published by Cardiff-based Candy Jar Books, 91-year-old Eileen Younghusband’s book One Woman’s War had been shortlisted in the non-fiction category while Terry Cooper’s Kangazang!: Star Stuff beat other titles to become a nominated finalist in the fiction category of the competition.
With this proud victory comes another day of celebration. Tomorrow (Thursday) Eileen is attending a Buckingham Palace garden party to receive her British Empire Medal (BEM). The British Empire Medal is awarded to individuals for civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown.

Eileen was overjoyed in getting the prize. She said: “I would like to thank everybody for voting for me. I am delighted. However, I do feel some of the recognition must go to the small band of women who went to war and contributed to victory in the Filter Rooms of RAF Fighter Command in the defence of Britain. I dedicate this award to all of them.”

The People’s Book Prize is a literary competition open to all published authors and judged solely by the general public. The annual event presented its first awards in 2010 following the death of its founding patron Dame Beryl Bainbridge DBE. Eileen wrote her book to help raise the awareness of the fundamental work of the Filter Room during the Second World War.

One Woman’s War is a personal account of war as a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF). She often conducts talks within the community and has recently appeared on the BBC’s The One Show in a short film discussing V2 rockets. Her book has even been endorsed by the likes of John Barrowman and Carwyn Jones.

Kangazang! Star Stuff is the second book of the hilarious Kangazang! Sci-Fi trilogy. The books have received rave reviews from the likes of former Doctor Who, Colin Baker and Starburst magazine who described his writing as “better than [Douglas] Adams”.

Although both Eileen and Terry are indeed pleased to have made it to the finalists, Eileen’s victory as winner of the non-fiction category serves as a fine example of a thrilling and unique perspective on one of Britain’s ‘darkest hours’, giving readers access to a previously secretive operation. Eileen and Candy Jar Books are both very grateful for all votes received, resulting in a momentous and proud moment for both parties involved.

Eileen wins the TPBP for Non-Fiction

For her next project, Eileen will release a book entitled Men I have Known – a chronicling of her various encounters in 91 years with many men of the world including Dylan Thomas, Idi Amin and Rex Harrison. Beyond the format of autobiography, it will instead focus on the difference and range of all the men that Eileen has met, providing an insightful perspective on the 20th Century and its key moments. Voting reopened on the 21st May and continued until the awards ceremony on 29th May.

One Woman's War by Eileen Younghusband is available as a paperback priced £8.99.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013


A final word of encouragement to those that haven't voted yet for the People's Book Prize: with mere hours away before the winners are announced later on tonight, now is your final chance to have your say in who should be the victor!

With Eileen Younghusband's One Woman's War as part of the line-up (alongside Terry Cooper's Kangazang! Star Stuff) we are officially excited about tonight's event!

We have all worked to create something we are immensely proud of here at Candy Jar, and wish good luck to both Eileen and Terry in what is surely an exciting time for them as well!

Click on the link and cast your vote. You can find Eileen's One Woman's War under the 'non-fiction' category, and Terry Cooper's Kangazang under 'ficton'.

Get on it!

Thursday, 16 May 2013


Little did I realise when I reported for duty at 1600 hours for the eight hour evening watch on May 16th 1943 what was ahead in the next few hours. Nor did I imagine that I would be part of the Filter Room team at Fighter Command HQ, Bentley Priory, tracking the flight of the Dambusters on their famous raid on the Mohne, Sorbe and Eder Dams on the Ruhr.

The Bomber Command teams, consisting of nineteen aircraft from 617 Squadron, left RAF Scampton on the night of 16th May in three groups. The first group was led by Squadron Leader Guy Gibson and included Mickie Martin, seconded from the Royal Australian Air Force. The second and third group followed at regular intervals. They were carrying the new “earthquake” bouncing bomb, invented by Barnes Wallis, scientist, engineer and inventor. The object was to drop their bombs on the approach to the dam wall so that it would be breached and cause vast flooding throughout the Ruhr area. This was where the majority of the vast manufacturing facilities were, producing Germany’s war weapons.

We picked them up as they left the British coast, heading for Germany and crossing via Holland. Flying low in order to evade German Radar, we were able to track them with our Chain Low Radar units. We had no idea of the importance of this mission. History tells us that the first wave managed successfully to drop two bombs breaching the Mohnesee dam. The following groups were not so successful. However, sufficient damage was done to put many factories out of action for some months and because of the flooding of agricultural land, cripple food production for many years. Sadly, many of the foreign slave workers from Belgian, Holland and France, employed in making armaments, were also killed.

When we picked up the aircraft tracks on their return, it was obvious we had lost a large number of aircraft in this operation. We were always advised of the squadrons operating and frequently several of the Filter Room personnel would have family or boy friends amongst the crews. Yet, they never failed in their duties, continuing to plot, to filter or to tell – the necessary tasks in this vital part of the Dowding System, which defended our shores and tracked our air crews.

Years later in the sixties, when running The Duke Hotel at Bratton, I had the privilege of meeting Mickie Martin and other members of that memorable operation when they called in for a meal during a reunion. On learning that my husband and I were both wartime members of the Royal Air Force, in no time a party developed and we played one of the games the crews indulged when letting off steam after an operation. Everyone would crouch on the floor, blindfolded and clutching a rolled newspaper. The object was to target a fellow player. If we managed to hit him with our paper, they were then out of the game until there was only one left – the winner then enjoyed free drinks for the rest of the night.

And now seventy years later on this special anniversary, the memories all come flooding back.


Tuesday, 14 May 2013


Author Eileen Younghusband recently appeared on BBC's The One Show, talking about how she helped track Hitler's V2 rockets during World War Two.