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Birthday Celebration for WAAF Teleprinter Operator

7 Jul 2019

Contributor: Alan Chanter

Sprightly Joan Mace, originally from Essex, England, United Kingdom, celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends on June 25th at the Greetwell House care home where she now lives. Joan joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) in 1941 and served until 1945. She signed up to become a motor transport driver, but at the time there were no vacancies so she went into accounts. Completing a six-week course in teleprinting at RAF Cranwell she found herself posted to the top secret establishment at Bletchley Park as a teleprinter operator. She now jokes: "I don’t know what information I was processing for the war effort - it could have been anything like instructions to wash the dishes".

Joan married soldier Ronald and they had two daughters, Jackie and Christine. Today she has six grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren. She moved to Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire, England 30 years ago to be nearer her family. Janet Rawcliffe, deputy manager at the care home, revealed that Joan is a popular member of the residents there and has a naughty sense of humour.

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