Mystery donor gives wife’s air force uniform to Biggin Hill Memorial Museum
PUBLISHED: 10:51 18 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:51 18 September 2017
The couple met at Biggin Hill more than 70 years ago
The widower of a women’s air force member has donated her uniform to a museum set to be built where the couple met 70 years.
Remaining anonymous, the donor, a former engine fitter for 611 Squadron at Biggin Hill, met his wife at a station dance in 1943.
Serving in the Intelligence Office of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, his wife would assist with the pilot debrief once they had returned from raids, marking information on a map on the office wall.
She rose to the rank of leading aircraft woman and was sketched by artist and fellow WAAF member, Elva Blacker.
With the development of Biggin Hill Memorial Museum, a building celebrating the airport’s importance during the Battle of Britain, set to begin in the coming months, the widower has donated his late wife’s uniform to go on display.
Three of the six military medals awarded for bravery to women in the RAF during the Second World War were awarded to Biggin WAAFs. Their stories of bravery will be celebrated in the forthcoming museum which will reveal people’s first hand experiences of war time Biggin Hill, remembering those who served at the leading fighter station and the community who supported them. The museum will safeguard Biggin Hill’s wartime heritage and St George’s RAF Chapel of Remembrance.
Councillor Stephen Carr, who resigned from his post as leader on Friday, said: “During the past thirty years there have been many attempts by various groups to bring a museum to Biggin Hill.
“We are very proud that works to start building the museum and conserving St George’s RAF Chapel of Remembrance will commence shortly, and that the future of the Chapel will be safeguarded, ensuring that this important historic site is open to generations to come”.
With building work expected to start by the end of the year, the museum is expected to open in November 2018, commemorating 100 years since the end of the First World War, and 101 years since the airport first came to be.
Bromley council is still looking for more stores and items for the museum, with anyone wishing to share memories or donate items urged to contact Biggin Hill Memorial Museum via firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 8313 4916.
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