Women of RAF Defford: Exhibition

A new exhibition, “Women of RAF Defford – Heroines of Croome at War” opened on 22nd January 2016 at RAF Defford Museum.

A group of Wrens at RAF Defford. Photo courtesy Mrs J MacKeith

By 1945, there were well over 2500 people at RAF Defford and of these, up to 600 were women. They played an essential role in the fight to stay ahead of the enemy in the battle of the air waves, often in dangerous and demanding circumstances. The women included WAAFs, Wrens (who as expert radar operators flew as aircrew in Fleet Air Arm aircraft based at Defford), distinguished women scientists who flew on radar trials, technicians and other women civilians in essential roles. After the War what had been achieved by these women tended to be forgotten.

To open the Exhibition, and to commemorate just one of the women who served at Defford, Mrs Pamela Walker unveiled a mounted photograph of her late sister Mrs Doreen Boller (formerly WAAF Wilson) in what is now the National Trust ‘RAF Canteen’.

Former Petty Officer Wendy Hogarth inspects the uniform she wore when serving at Defford in 1945. Photo: Katheryn Rudd

Former Petty Officer Wendy Hogarth inspects the uniform she wore when serving at Defford in 1945. Photo: Katheryn Rudd

The Exhibition itself consists of eight large display boards in the Museum, plus changes in the costume case which now displays the uniforms of Wren Petty Officer Wendy Hogarth and her husband Flt Lt George Hogarth who she married while serving at Defford in 1944.


Exhibition planning and layout by Dennis Williams
Graphic design by Matt Jarvis
Research by Bob Shaw


Information on visiting the RAF Defford Museum can be found here.