I have posted my father’s autobiography here, but what did my mother do while he was a prisoner of war? Why, she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force.

kathleen elizabeth croweKathleen Elizabeth Young (née Crowe)
No. 2076472 Leading Aircraftwoman.

From 5 Sep 1941 to 7 Sep 1945

Kathleen’s trade was D.M.T. and her evaluation was “The general conduct of this airwoman has always been Very Good. Was reliable and painstaking, and very capable in her work as a driver.” This is quite surprising actually, becasue when I was growing up she never drove and was quite nervous being a passenger. Kathleen also said that she worked on barrage ballons. So here is some background photos and information on driving and balloons in the W.A.A.F.

newcastle journal 23 february 1940Members of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, attached to a Royal Air Force station “somewhere in the North” preparing special fabric patches for the maintenance of barrage balloons.
From the 
Newcastle Journal 23 Feb 1940.
waaf driverThe Tatler 13 Mar 1940
Not Kathleen


Recruiting Advertisements
again, not Kathleen in the photo


Kathleen’s 3rd cousin 1x removed, Mildred May Chilcott was a Corporal in the W.A.A.F. and Kathleen Muriel Philpott, 4th cousin of her husband Wilfred, was also in the W.A.A.F. while others served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the Women’s Land Army and the Navy, Army and Air Force Institue.

In World War One many of the women served in Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps.

So it was just not the men who did their part. God Bless them.

kathleen elizabeth crowe
Kathleen in 1945

Kathleen was born at 30 Ballycarry Street in Belfast in 1922. This was a dangerous area at the time. Snippets from the newspapers include:

20 April 1922 – Belfast News-Letter

An attempt was made to loot and set alight the spirit grocery of W. H. Smyth in Ballycarry Street during the afternoon, but the timely arrival party of police frustrated the designs of the mob, who cleared off.

26 June 1922 – Northern Whig

there was sad tragedy shortly before Curfew hours on Saturday night the house of Mrs. Isabella Foster, Ballycarry Street, off Oldpark Road. A bullet entered through the window, wounding Isabella, the four months old daughter of Mrs. Foster

25 March 1922 – Larne Times

A shot was fired in Ballycarry Street, and a woman—whose name is unknown was sightly wounded in the breast.

20 July 1922 – Londonderry Sentinel

Yesterday evening while some soldiers of the Norfolk Regiment were on duty at Ballycarry-street, Belfast, shots were fired from Park View-street. Private Goodwin was slightly wounded in the leg.

19 April 1922 – Belfast News-Letter

John Hyland (14j, Leopold Street, was shot in the face in Ballycarry Street, and was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital.



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