SULLY author Eileen Younghusband celebrated the publication of her latest book ‘One Woman’s War, and her 90th birthday, by accepting an invitation to visit No 4 School of Technical Training at MOD St Athan.

There she enjoyed a joint celebration with the Commanding Officer, Wing Commander Lyndon Jones, who was also celebrating his birthday on the same day.

Wg Cdr Jones was on annual leave, but was persuaded to come and meet Mrs Younghusband - unaware that there were plans afoot to ensure both parties would have a birthday to remember!

Mrs Younghusband was met at the gate by Wg Cdr Jones before being escorted to their waiting transport ‘Queenie’ - an open topped Landrover once used by the Queen when she toured Berlin.

They were driven in ceremonial style to Harlech Flight where colleagues, family, and friends were waiting for them. They were met by RAF Officers from No 4 SofTT.

As they lined the path to the building, Mrs Younghusband was introduced to each of them and it was clear that she was enjoying her impromptu ‘inspection of the troops’. She was particularly keen to meet Flight Lieutenant Maxine Antoniou, with whom she bonded immediately on hearing that she had a background as an Air Traffic Controller, and she was heard to say "How lovely, you’re one of us".

The morning continued with the presentation of birthday cakes and Mrs Younghusband had brought Wg Cdr Jones a copy of her newly launched book, ‘One Woman’s War’, as a gift for his birthday.

Wg Cdr Jones also had a gift for Mrs Younghusband to mark her 90th birthday - a specially minted coin commemorating the 90th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force.

Over a cup of tea and slices of cake, Mrs Younghusband shared some of her experiences of what life was like for her as a 19-year-old WAAF during WWII and why, at 90 years young, she had written her latest book.

She told them: "It’s not that I did anything special - I just happen to still remember and am still able to talk.

"I just want the work of the filter room to be recognised. It seldom gets a mention and the people working there were predominantly women so I have written the book, whilst I can, to ensure that their work is not forgotten."

During her time in the filter rooms Mrs Younghusband worked alongside some well known faces of the day including Zoe John, daughter of Welsh painter Augustus John, and actor Rex Harrison who was an air raid officer in Bath.

She was also on shift when the plane carrying Prime Minister Winston Churchill returned from the USA following Churchill’s meeting with President Roosevelt, and the pilot had forgotten to activate the signal to indicate that they were friendly aircraft.

Remembering the event, she said: "Sensing something was up, but it was unlikely to be enemy aircraft, I plotted the plane as unknown just as the pilot remembered to switch on the signal that identified them."

Wg Cdr Jones said: "Eileen is a truly remarkable woman, an inspiration to everyone she meets.

"She has a gift in being able to not only recount events with such clarity, but also the ability to engage with every generation, at every level, to ensure the behind-the-scenes work of the filter room personnel, especially the women, is not forgotten."