Daughter of Maire seeks help in tracing her WWII past in NW

The daughter of a former Women’s Auxiliary Air Force member who was stationed in the north west during the Second World War is hoping to connect with others who may have been based there or their relatives.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 4:29 pm

A spokesperson for the daughter of Dubliner Maire said they are really interested in finding out what life was like for those who may have been in the RAF based in the County Derry as well as in the Fermanagh region or elsewhere at the time.

The spokesperson asked for Maire’s surname not to be shared due to sensitivities, but has shared several photos of Maire and her colleagues during her time in the County Derry area back in the 1940s.

In a statement a spokesperson said they were “looking for women and men who served in Castle Archdale, Ballykelly or Limavady, or other RAF bases during World War II”.

WAAFs on base at Ballykelly.
WAAFs on base at Ballykelly.

She elaborated: “An Enniskillen lady is trying to piece together the war-time years of her mother, Maire, who was in the WAAFs, and was a NAAFI driver in Gloucester after the war.

“Maire was a Dublin girl, nicknamed ‘Rebel’ or ‘Paddy’ on the base because she was from the Republic.

“She joined up in Liverpool, and during the war spent time in Balloon Command in London, later in Mechanical Transport, and was then part of coastal command which took her to Ballykelly, Limavady and Castle Archdale in Northern Ireland.

“She was also stationed at St Athan in Wales, and eventually to Leuchars in Scotland.”

Maire (bottom left) in civvies with some of the others based at Ballykelly.

The family spokesperson added details of how to get in touch, saying: “We would love to speak to people about their own memories of life on any RAF base during the war.

“Were you in the WAAFs? Or the RAF or the NAAFI? Or perhaps you had some other key role in keeping life on the base going? Do you recognise anyone in these photos?”

“If you have memories to share or know someone who does, please call Jennifer on 07906 893 823, or email [email protected] We would love to hear from you.”

Maire (right) and friend in a boat with a friend.
Maire pictured in the north west.