Skip to main content

Can you help find the women who worked in secret as front-line radar operators in WWII?

By November 28, 2019One Comment

Do you know a woman who worked in the field of radar in World War II? If so, Bawdsey Radar Museum wants to hear from you.

An innovative exhibition at Bawdsey Radar Museum in Suffolk aims to uncover the often-overlooked contribution of the women who worked as radar operators in WWII.

Bawdsey Radar Trust, which is planning the exhibition to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain next year [2020], is calling on the public for help uncovering information about the women who worked at Bawdsey.

“Around 8,000 Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) served in radar across the UK,” explains Mary Wain, one of the founders of the Bawdsey Radar Trust, “their work was completely secret – as secret as that which went on at Bletchley Park – which means that they often never spoke about it to anyone.  The result is that records of their contribution are scarce. We know overall numbers but, compared to the men who worked in radar, very little about these women’s achievements or their day-to-day working lives.”

Bawdsey Radar Trust is asking people to share any information that they may have about their friends and relatives who worked in radar during the War.

“Many women never spoke about their work until the end of their lives,” says Mary Wain. “However, there may be people out there who have stories or artefacts passed down from older members of their families or from friends. We’d love to see those so that we can build a fuller picture of the lives of the women involved.”

The exhibition will feature photographs, war records and individual stories of the women who worked at Bawdsey during the war and in the surrounding years.

There were over 640,000 women in the armed forces during the war. Of these around 8,000 Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) served in radar. Radar stations were often the first target for the German bombers which made working at one very dangerous indeed – effectively they were on the front line.

“Many of these women will have passed away, taking their memories with them, says Mary Wain, “However, some will have told their stories to their families and, perhaps left some photographs as well. The Bawdsey Radar Museum is hoping to hear from as many people as possible with these stories and memorabilia. It is a fascinating part of our wartime history and was crucial to the allied victory.”

If you have information/photographs or stories about a woman who served in radar in WWII, please get in touch with Bawdsey Radar Museum: Tel: 07821 162879 please leave a name and contact number and one of the volunteers will call you back or email on

Leave a Reply