RAF salutes war veteran Joyce with medal presentation
PUBLISHED: 19:00 31 August 2020
War veteran Joyce Goodman has celebrated her 100th birthday by finally receiving a medal she should have collected 75 years ago.
Joyce marked her century with a family celebration at her home in Wickham St Paul and a special visit by two members of the Royal Air Force.
Sergeants Jay Tailor and Toni Corrigan, from RAF Honington, presented Joyce with her 1939-1945 War Medal, which was awarded to all British citizens who served in the armed forces during the war, along with the modern day Veteran’s pin.
Her great-granddaughter, Eleanor Davies, said for reasons unknown she never received the medal at the end of the war and the oversight was only realised by her family decades later.
They applied for her to receive it and once it was approved thought it would be fitting that she receive it from members of the RAF, which she served in as a wireless operator.
Eleanor said: “She was a bit overwhelmed but she loved it. Having the two members of the RAF brought it all back to her, she said her time in the RAF was one of the most important and exciting times of her life. She remembers it so well.”
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Joyce was born in Great Warley and attended the Brentwood Girls Grammar School.
Just a year after getting married, she volunteered for war service and joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) in January 1941.
She was posted to RAF Bridgnorth in Shropshire for training before being sent to RAF Biggin Hill in Kent.
The famous Spitfire station had been severely damaged in the Battle of Britain in 1940, but operations were moved to a house called ‘The Rookery’ a few miles from the camp and continued throughout the war.
Joyce was stationed there as a wireless operator maintaining communication with the pilots and highlighting positions of enemy aircraft.
Eleanor said: “One of her jobs was to take verbatim notes of every word the pilots said, which she said used to make her laugh because some of the language could get very colourful.”
Joyce stayed in the WAAF until 1942 when she had her first child with late husband Don, who died in 1995. They went on to have two more children, seven grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
After the war she and Don lived in Malta before moving to Wickham St Paul in the 1980s.
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