December 2019

Eileen Gray (nee Briscoe)

It is with great sadness we have heard of the passing of Eileen.

Eileen served at Bawdsey during the Second World War. After she was accepted she was posted to Cranwell to do what she described as: “didn’t know what she was going to do”

As a Leading Aircraftwoman she recalled her role as a radar operator. She spoke of her father’s opposition to her signing up; after she had enlisted he asked her what she would be doing, and she replied that she could not tell him. His retort was that ” it wouldn’t be much then”. Little did he suspect that in her job she would be on the front line!

Eileen explained that there was great friendship between everyone at Bawdsey, ” they looked after you”. She recalled that it never felt like a military camp, it was more like a second home and that Bawdsey was something you’d never expect in a war. “After a week away on leave I looked forward to coming back”.

Bawdsey Radar kept in contact and visited her at home to hear more of her wartime tales. Eileen was ‘over the moon’ to be invited to the official opening and meet the Duke of Gloucester in July 2018.  Visitors to the Transmitter Block will be able to read Eileen’s reminiscences and see some of her memorabilia in the ” resources” room.

Eileen died on the 14 November 2019 aged 96.

Eileen chatting with Mary Wain at the official opening of Bawdsey Radar Transmitter Block, July 2018

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Eileen Gray (nee Briscoe)