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15 October 2014
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Corporal Lena of RAF Benson 423254icon for Recommended story

by BBC @ The Living Museum

Lena harrison Nee Crawford

Contributed by 
BBC @ The Living Museum
People in story: 
Mrs Lena harrison Nee Crawford
Location of story: 
Oxford
Background to story: 
Royal Air Force
Article ID: 
A4416545
Contributed on: 
10 July 2005

Disclaimer for story gatherers: This story was added on behalf of (Mrs Lena harrison) by (Jane Barnes) of London CSV volunteers. The author is aware of the site's terms and conditions.

I had just left the convent when at the age of 21 years I was called up to join the RAF. I had to report to Somerset House in London.
I was billeted in RAF Benson in Oxford. I worked in the Laundry and in the canteen. I met Paddy Finnegan (The legless Pilot) and Vera Lynn “the forces Sweetheart”.
She came to RAF Benson to entertain the troops by singing “The white cliffs of Dover”.
After she had entertained the troops she came and had tea with me and my colleagues. She also took a photograph of us all. I was a corporal in the RAF and my men used to call me “Titch”. I served between 1940 and 1944.
I was often moved about, when in the RAF, sometimes I was in the laundry doing the airmen’s bundles and sometimes I was in the canteen. I didn’t mind and during the War you just had to get on with it and do as you were told.
I also packed the parachutes. This was obviously a very important job, because if you got it wrong, lives depended on it!

I visited a concentration Camp in White City Recreation Ground in West London. I was given a tablepoon with a Nazi Swastika on it by a prisoner of War and I have still got it to this day.

I also have a scar on my Right Hand, where I opened hundreds of tins of corn beef and I have still got the scar to this day!!!!

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Women's Auxiliary Air Force Category
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