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Women's air force veteran mourned as 'remarkable woman'

Published 03/09/2016

Eileen Younghusband, second left, met the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Museum
Eileen Younghusband, second left, met the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Museum

A Second World War veteran described as a "remarkable woman" has died at the age of 95.

Eileen Younghusband joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force during the World War and worked in the filter room - the top secret hub of Britain's air defence, which processed information from coastal radar stations to give air raid warnings and enable the RAF to intercept German bombers.

In the decades that followed, she went on to work in hotels, write books and even completed a degree in her late 80s.

Ms Younghusband died on Friday night in hospital in Cardiff, her friend Hugh Turnbull said.

Mr Turnbull was with Ms Younghusband when she died and had been her friend for about seven or eight years. He hailed her as an "absolute inspiration".

He told the Press Association: "She was a remarkable woman, an inspirational figure, and she was tireless in promoting the work of the women who helped to defeat the Nazis in their work in the filter room during World War Two."

After D-day, she was sent to Belgium with a small team of women using their mathematical skill to locate the mobile launchers for the V2 rockets then raining down on London and Antwerp.

After the war, she spent most of her life in hotels and catering. She moved to Wales in 1984, becoming known for her campaigning on health and education issues.

She was awarded the British Empire Medal in 2012.

At the age of 87, she completed a degree from the Open University and was named one of its students of the year. H er autobiography - Not An Ordinary Life - was published the following year.

A life-size figure of Eileen as a 21-year-old WAAF officer stands in a replica of a filter room at the Battle of Britain Museum at Bentley Priory.

Her latest book - Eileen's War - was written for children, completed and published only weeks before her death.

Quentin Younghusband, her nephew by marriage, described her as "quite an amazing woman" and recalled her "dogged" determination.

"Once she got her teeth into something it was to finish it," he said, adding: "She wasn't fazed by any kind of male structure in whatever business she was involved in or whatever group she was involved with. She really pushed the limits as an equal because she could do the job as well."

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