For the Duration
A Lighthearted WAAF Memoir
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Syracuse University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Frontispiece, Dedication
List of Illustrations
Felicity Ashbee was born in Broad Campden, England, a village in the Cotswolds, on 22 February 1913. Her father was the prominent architect and designer Charles Robert Ashbee, a leading exponent of the Arts and Crafts movement. Felicity had many different talents and was active in...
Part 1: The Best Kept Secret (In the Ranks): September 1939–June 1941
1. Beginnings: 1939–1940
“War?” my American friends had said, “What war?” “Hitler,” I replied. “There isn’t going to be a war,” they repeated complacently. But I knew better. On a recent student holiday in Austria and Germany I had seen the Nazis in action. For a brief visit to a sister recently married...
2. The Phoney War Turns Real: 1940–1941
Britain was lucky to have had the breathing space of the “Phoney War” to get its act together before things really heated up. The vulnerability of Bentley Priory must have been a recurrent nightmare of the Defence chiefs during those bitter...
3. Raids and Recreation: 1941
By August the Battle of Britain, as it came to be called, was at its peak. I remember thinking how silly it was to label it that way, as if it were a single battle, like Agincourt or Waterloo, whereas in fact it went on day after day, with alerts...
Part 2: The Officer Type? (Commissioned): June 1941–February 1944
4. Intelligence: 1941-1942
Whatever vague and romantic ideas might have been floating through my mind at the thought of an Intelligence Commission (Blonde spies? Secret agents? My foreign languages used in some unexpectedly exciting...
5. A/S/O Admin: 1942
The Loughborough course was almost totally unmemorable, apart from the fact that it was in the purpose-built premises of the new Loughborough Training College, which had a swimming pool with one glass wall. This was startlingly...
6. The S/O Is Learning: 1942-1943
And when there was some time off, there was always the Hampshire countryside waiting to be discovered, its empty meadows to be wandered over, its little villages to be cycled through. Broughton was one of these, also mentioned...
7. Via Windermere to “Y”: 1943-1944
It was really rather surprising that the RAF should have requisitioned what must, after all, have been a hotel of some standing in a beauty spot such as Lake Windermere for the unlikely purpose of a series of WAAF Officer Refresher...
Part 3: From the Sticks to the Cradle: February 1944–July 1946
8. The Glint of Roman Spears: 1944
Travelling by train was a slow process during the war years. Even if it were not a question of an air raid happening, or of the lines having been disrupted by a recent attack, troop trains or trains carrying vital supplies usually...
9. Southward Ho!: 1944-1945
RAF Stenigot, though another of the first generation of CH Radar Stations, was at least a little nearer civilization, and I felt a lightening of the spirit as the train brought me southwards, finally depositing me in...
10. Winding Down: 1945
It was in February 1945 that I arrived at RAF Cranwell.1 At about the same time, Roosevelt and Stalin sat down together at the Yalta Conference to plan Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender. British troops were reaching the Rhine...
11. And OUT!: 1945-1946
Meanwhile the members of my own family were scattered over various parts of the country, not to mention sister Helen still in America. Godden Green, the big family home in Kent, which had been commandeered...
Felicity Ashbee: A Chronology
Appendix A: Other Poems and Song Parodies Written During World War II
Appendix B: Show Log Book
Appendix C: Three Drama Sketches
Bibliography and Suggested Readings
Page Count: 240
Illustrations: 42 black & white
Publication Year: 2012
OCLC Number: 808350115
MUSE Marc Record: Download for For the Duration