New Year’s Eve RAF party 1943

Booing out the old year and bringing in the new at 46 Squadron’s New Year’s Eve party, 1943:

‘The night before there had been an ENSA show, and many of the members stayed on for it. Together with the wrens, this made around seventy guests in all, and the biggest Squadron party ever. As before, after helping to decorate the Mess, I drove over to Alexandria with Jack Barnes and collected some of the wrens from the Sacre Coeur in Alexandria. It was a splendid evening. There had been a lot of rain over the previous weeks, so a large marquee was erected, and there was a huge bonfire outside. Once again the RAF Dance Band from Aboukir played for us. As midnight was counted down, Doc MacDonald made a dramatic entrance through the front door of the Mess dressed as an ancient old man, representing 1943, and was booed and heckled as he made his way through the crowded room and out at the back door. He was in fact the oldest member of the Squadron and, as it happened, I was the youngest. I therefore landed the job of representing the New Year, 1944, and, as the Doc exited bang on midnight, a flaming punch was served, and in I came, dressed as a baby with sheets for a nappy, and cheered to the nines. Not my finest hour, and no one from ENSA took my details for future bookings, but great fun all the same. We just about managed to squeeze everyone into a huge circle to sing Auld Lang Syne. It was 1.30 in the morning when Jack Barnes and I took our three wrens back into Alex. As Jack snoozed on the way home, I reflected on a year full of strange and powerful experiences. As I turned the car into the camp at 3.30 a.m., I knew that despite all the difficult things I had seen and been through, I was actually having the time of my life.’

From: ‘Flying Blind: The Story of a Second World War Night-Fighter Pilot’ published by Fonthill Media


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2 responses to “New Year’s Eve RAF party 1943

  1. Anonymous

    Oh Elizabeth, what good memories as well as bad your father had x


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