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In War and Peace

In May 1940 an aircraft crashed near the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force quarters at Detling in Kent. Corporal Daphne Pearson rushed out and, though she knew there were bombs on board, roused the pilot and helped him to get clear. When they were thirty yards clear the bomb went off and she threw herself over the pilot to protect him from the blast. This is Daphne’s story.

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Overview

Daphne Pearson was a truly remarkable woman, born on 26 May 1911 in Hampshire, England, she died on 25 July 2000 in Melbourne, Australia.

This book captures her richly interesting life as photographer, landscape designer, market gardener and war heroine. It was in 1940 during the Battle of Britain that she became the first woman to receive the George Cross, given for acts of courage in circumstances of extreme danger.

In May 1940 an aircraft crashed near the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force quarters at Detling in Kent. Corporal Daphne Pearson rushed out and, though she knew there were bombs on board, roused the pilot and helped him to get clear. When they were thirty yards clear the bomb went off and she threw herself over the pilot to protect him from the blast.

In a touching human-interest angle, Daphne was traced by the descendents of David Bond, the man whose life she had saved and it was they who discovered that she had written this absorbing book.

Content

Contents

Foreword
By Air Commodore Ruth Montague

Part one:
The pre-war years
Introduction
My family and the first world war
Buckinghamshire
Combe and Oxford
At school and training
Wye Valley – Tintern and Monmouth
Cornwall and St Ives – new start, 1929-1933
An interval to stranger things
Sussex – Haywards Heath
Petworth,Sussex
Ditton Court Farm, Kent – county of produce

Part two:
The war years
RAF Detling, Kent – September 1939
Up for a Commission
Victory House – recruiting in the London Blitz
West Drayton – E.G.M. Award
Dame Laura Knight, RA,War Artist
Harrogate
War weapons week and recruiting
Back to London – new home billet, the Blitz
BBC – ‘In town tonight’
WAAF may carry arms
Flood of enrolments, incendiary bombs
Bombing of Buckingham Palace and Café de Paris (Café Royal)
St. Paul’s Cathedral on fire
Sheffield
Bulstrode course
Sheffield – a tribute to the steel workers
Cornwall – a new home, H.M.Coastguard, Gurnards Head
Torquay – RAF recruiting
Torquay, military hospital
Reporting to Victory House
Investiture change – B.E.M. for G.C.
RAF Uxbridge
Hospitalised – Ireland on sick leave
London to Penzance – sick leave, to RAF Victory House
Posted north, RAF Snaith
Windermere
RAF Hixon
RAF Oakington
RAF Henlow
Cease fire

Part three:
The post-war years
Planning for de-mobilisation
The Gaiety Show
Job hunting
Prison service
H.M. Prison, Aylesbury
Routine
Coronation, 2 June, 1953
Change of work, not location
Death of an old friend
Working at Kew Gardens
New idea
Herbarium routine
Plant nursery and retail work
Another Australian arrives
Robbery
The Victoria Cross and George Cross Association
Jean, the secretary
Hanover Nursery is sold

Postscript
By Audrey Jarvis

Appendices
RAF/WAAF Ranks
Acknowledgments
List of illustrations

Index

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eBook ISBN-13: 9781854188724
Pages: 242
GBP 6.71
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Hardback ISBN-10: 1854182110
ISBN-13: 9781854182111
Pages: 200
GBP 17.99
EUR 21.99
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