Name/Titlephoto negative - The three WAAF recipients of the Military Medal
About this objectSergeant Elizabeth Mortimer was manning the switchboard in the station Armoury when the airfield was attacked on Sunday 18th August 1940. Despite heavy bombing in the area where she was working she refused to leave her post relaying vital messages to the airfield's defence posts. Before the raid had finished she gathered up a bundle of red flags and ran around the airfield marking unexploded bombs. She was the first WAAF to receive the Military Medal.
During the evening air raid on 31st August 1940 all of the ops room personnel were ordered to evacuate to the shelter. Sergeant Helen Turner and Corporal Elspeth Henderson both refused to leave their posts as switchboard operators to maintain telephone contact with Group Headquarters at Uxbridge. When a 500lb bomb crashed through the roof and bounced off the safe in the room Sergeant Turner was dragged under a table protesting. The blast knocked over Corporal Henderson who was still maintaining contact with Uxbridge. The Three WAAFs each received the Military Medal.
Left to right: Sergeant Elizabeth Mortimer, Corporal Elspeth Henderson and Sergeant Helen Turner.
In September 1980 RAF Biggin Hill gathered together a collection of photographs from museums, commercial and private individuals to mount an exhibition to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The collection was passed on to Bob Ogley when the RAF withdrew from Biggin Hill.
This photograph is part of the Bob Ogley Photograph Collection.
Place MadeRAF Biggin Hill
Measurements1: H 100 mm x W 125 mm
2: H 185 mm x W 145 mm
PeriodSecond World War
Object TypePhotographic negative
Subject and Association KeywordsBiggin Hill
Subject and Association KeywordsWAAF
Subject and Association KeywordsMortimer, Elizabeth
Subject and Association KeywordsHenderson, Elspeth
Subject and Association KeywordsTurner, Helen
Subject and Association KeywordsMilitary Medal
Medium and Materials1: photographic negative
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