Story of Britain's last surviving female World War Two pilot to be told at celebration
PUBLISHED: 09:31 26 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:31 26 June 2019
A pop-up museum celebrating 100 years of women serving in the armed forces will be held in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday.
The celebration, which is being held on Bury's market and inside Moyse's Hall Museum as part of Armed Forces Day, will showcase stories and memorabilia.
Among the stories being told is that of 101-year-old Eleanor Wadsworth, from Bury, who is Britain's last surviving female World War Two pilot.
One of the famed 'Spitfire women', Eleanor was part of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), which was tasked with the delivery of new and repaired aircraft to squadrons of the RAF and Royal Navy.
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Visitors to the event will be able to join in the celebrations between 10am and 3pm and enjoy music, tea and cake while the Women's Royal Army Corps Association will be collecting to support women who have served in the forces.
The celebration has been put together by community artist and teacher Lou Gridley and students at St Benedict's Catholic School in Bury, working closely with West Suffolk Council, its staff at Moyse's Hall Museum and the Bury market traders.
The Suffolk Regimental Museum, The Royal British Legion and The Guildhall which is home to the only surviving Royal Observer Corps WWII operations room in the country, will also be taking part in the special event.
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Ms Gridley said: "It is so important that the younger generation get to meet the older members of our society and hear their stories and life experiences. Learning the lessons of the past will help the next generation to build a better future for all."
Peter Stevens, cabinet member responsible for west Suffolk's markets, said: "Our markets are a part of the social fabric of the community in and around Bury St Edmunds and have been for hundreds of years.
"Bury St Edmunds also has long and distinguished links to the armed forces. So I am delighted that our market and museum service has been able to work alongside Lou Gridley, the students and our other partners to put on this community celebration to honour all of the women who have served in the armed forces this last 100 years, and to show our support to Armed Forces Day."