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The Second World War is dominated by heroic tales of men defending their country against a formidable enemy, but what about the women who also played their part in fighting for freedom? Eileen Younghusband was just 18 when she joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF). She quickly demonstrated her keen intellect and mathematical skills, playing a crucial role in Fighter Command's underground Filter Room. Working gruelling shifts under enormous pressure, she and her companions worked tirelessly, tracking the swarms of enemy aircraft that sought to break the British resolve. She even had the dubious honour of detecting the first of Hitler's devastating V2 rockets as it fell on an unsuspecting London.
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Eileen Younghusband was born in London in 1921. After her wartime service in WAAF, she had a successful career in hotel management and catering, taking on the male establishment of the industry. She also ran a variety of businesses, from selling herbs to Fortnum & Mason to supplying thousands of tons of scrap metal for a company in Spain.At the age of 87, she graduated from the Open University as one of its Students of the Year. In 2013 Eileen was honoured with a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her services to lifelong learning.Eileen now lives in Wales, where she remains an active campaigner on health and education issues. She gives regular talks on the role of Radar in World War Two and the work of the Filter Room.In 2013 Eileen's writing was recognised by The People's Book Prize. Her book 'One Woman's War' won the non-fiction prize in the 2012/2013 national literary awards.Review:
"It is excellent to be reminded what a great debt we owe to this group of brave... 'One Woman's War' adds to the war archive that becomes increasingly important as the participants in the 1939-45 war gradually age and pass away, many of them taking their memories with them. As well as producing this readable account of her years in uniform, Eileen Younghusband has brought an extraordinary period and a previously unrecorded part of our air defences to life." - Emma Soames, SAGA Magazine and Winston Churchill's granddaughter;"I found this book hard to put down, constantly leaving me wondering what the next chapter would bring. Definitely one of the most exciting and interesting reads I've had in a long time." - Aeroplane Monthly;The work carried out by the WAAF on Radar Operations during WW2 was a major contribution in the defence of our country." - Dame Vera Lynn;"Eileen tells a gripping and deeply moving story that kept me riveted through every aspect of her involvement in some of the war's most pivotal moments" - John Barrowman, Actor
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