Monday 16 September 2013


For many it would have been an informative trip to the museum, but for Eileen Younghusband, visiting the Bentley Priory on Thursday was an experience of enormous nostalgia.

Bentley Priory

The cause of her visit was for the commemoration of Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding - the man who led the team of officers working with Radar information collected from the stations around Britain's coast to detect enemy fire. The day featured a reveal of the site's recreation of the famous Filter room - where Eileen worked relentlessly during WW2 when detecting enemy V2 rockets headed for Britain. She was accompanied by eight other WAAF veterans as part of the event's VIP guests.

The unveiling of the Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding statuette

The Filter Room was of vital importance to the outcome of the Battle of Britain, with the air-raid warnings a direct result of the WAAF's work in calculating the necessary information to detect where and when potential attacks were to occur.

However, the day was made even more significant due to the attendance of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

Eileen was able to share a few moments of chatter with Prince Charles, speaking about her experiences of the war. In a bizarre reflection of history, they were surrounded by commemorative bronze statues of the various members who worked in the Filter Room - one of which was modelled after Eileen herself. She spoke of the Prince of Wales in high regard, stating that he had "a great sense of humour."

Eileen's statue proudly stands as the display's centrepiece

Ultimately, the event took place in order to acknowledge the secret efforts made to ensure the protection of Britain. Speaking of the day, Eileen says "For me, it was sadness and joy mixed together - remembering the dedication and comradeship of my fellow WAAF no longer here, but also reliving those days of struggle and hard work. It was a unique day and one which I will never forget."

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