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Wings Over Wick Index

Wings Over Wick
1939 - 1945
Women At War

Miss Barbara Guild, Blairgowrie
In 1943 I was posted from RAF Leuchars to Wick where I was an accounts clerk as a member of the WAAF (Women's Auxiliary Air Force) and also attached to 519 Met squadron. I should think you have heard about '519' and the Flying Fortress which crashed on the moors at Halsary in February 1945. I was invited to the commemorative service as a former member of 519 Squadron and spent a week in Wick and Thurso at the end of August. I am so glad I accepted the invitation. It was a most moving and beautiful ceremony and it was wonderful for me, after 50 years to be back in Wick and at the airport which has changed since my posting there, which lasted for just over two years.

I have many vivid memories - the Church of Scotland Canteen and Mr Bob McKenzie who was a manager of the local Co-operative Society.  He lived with his sons in Pulteneytown - he, I think, was the person in charge of the canteen and he was such a jolly, friendly and kind man. The cinema, somewhere near the Nethercliffe Hotel - where we ate lovely meals on our day off duty - was a popular place but we did have our own cinema and dance hall on the drome.

Being in Wick for quite some time I got to know many of the local people who were so kind and made us feel so welcome.  I was sorry to leave, but the squadron moved down to RAF Tain and then onto RAF Leuchars - and so I had to go with them.

We cycled all over the county and especially by the sea to Staxigoe, Girnigoe, the castles and little fishing hamlets - up to Noss Head for picnics - down to Dunbeath when we had a day off duty. We were all too far from home to go home and see our parents!!  But we were never homesick or bored. We were young, we had a job to do and we were really proud to be a member of such a service and meeting so many nice people and visiting and getting to know such a remote but lovely part of Scotland is a lasting memory.