Islington born author, 91, up for award and to meet The Queen after writing book about her vital role in Battle of Britain
PUBLISHED: 12:32 31 May 2013
An author who wrote her first book at the tender age of 90 about her vital role during the Battle of Britain is up for an award and about to meet the Queen.
Eileen Younghusband, now 91, penned One Woman’s War about her job helping to keep fighter planes in the air during Hitler’s attempt to invade Britain’s shores.
Earlier this year she was given a British Empire Medal by the Queen, whom she is set to meet tomorrow, and today is in the final for the prestigious People’s Book Prize – of which Fredrick Forsyth is a patron.
Mrs Younghusband, who was born in Prah Road, Finsbury Park, in 1921, said: “I’m a little apprehensive and I’m really excited but they will be great occasions.
“I’m not sure if I will actually meet the Queen, I think they just pick a few chosen ones.
“I suppose it depends who else is there, but it should be a lovely day, though it will no doubt be raining.
“I met the Queen once before actually, although she didn’t meet me.
“It was before she was on the throne, during the war.
“She was in the Auxillary Territorial Service cleaning her car before driving it.”
Mrs Younghusband’s memoirs tell the story of her top secret Second World War efforts within the filter room – where talented young women filtered through masses of information gathered about attacking aircraft and turned it into a form those planning the allied response could use.
“I got picked because I was good at mathematics,” she said. “Nobody really wrote about it until I did.
“We played a vital role – not me personally but the team of girls.
“All of these young women had boyfriends or fathers, or uncles, cousins or brothers in the Royal Air Force.
“They knew the squadrons and we would see 500 go out and only 400 come back.
“But the girls were fantastic. There were no hysterics, no fainting. They all just did their job.
“It’s for those women that I wrote this book.”
The People’s Book Prize is judged solely by the general public and votes can be placed on www.peoplesbookprize.com/finalist.
Eileen Younghusband’s second book, titled Men I Have Known, is released on July 4 – which will also mark the author’s 92nd birthday.
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