Today's theme - Women in the War
My Aunt Peggy (1922-1989), christened Margaret Olwyn, was the youngest daughter of William and Alice Danson, of Ppulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire. She was born after the First World War, so very much the baby of the family to her much older brothers and sisters.
Balloon barrages were a passive form of defence designed to force enemy raiders to fly higher, and thus bomb much less accurately.
The barrage balloon was simply a bag of lighter-than-air gas attached to a steel cable anchored to the ground. The balloon could be raised or lowered to the desired altitude by a winch.
This simple mission provided three major benefits:
- Forced aircraft to higher altitudes, thereby decreasing surprise and bombing accurac
- Enhanced ground-based air defenses and the ability of fighters to acquire targets, since intruding aircrafts were limited in altitude and direction; and
- The cable presented a definite mental and material hazard to pilots.
In Hull during 1942 members of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force replaced some 60% of the men, who assisted in the training of WAAF at the Centre while others dealt with maintenance on the Sites. The Hull Barrage continued to fly until the 31st July 1944 when the Squadron with all their equipment was sent to the south east of England to become part of the Anti-Diver Barrage against the V1 Flying Bombs.
[Source: Hull Barrage Balloon Squadron]
In Hull, Peggy met her husband - Harry Constable, known as Con and after their marriage in 1949, they emigrated to Australia - settling near Melbourne. Two sons were born Ian and Philip.