RAF launch appeal mission for Kate’s family

Flt Lt Steve Hawkins who is trying to reunite some medals with the family of the owner
Flt Lt Steve Hawkins who is trying to reunite some medals with the family of the owner

STAFF at RAF Stanbridge, who are clearing the base ahead of its closure next year, are trying to return a collection of medals to the family of an officer who once served at the Leighton communications post.

Warrant officer Kate Entwhistle was born in 1920 and enlisted 18 years later just before the outbreak of World War Two. She joined the RAF as a chef and was, at some point in her long career, posted to RAF Stanbridge where she stayed, acting as catering officer, until leaving the service in 1975.

Mrs Entwhistle, whose husband was also in the RAF, died in 1992. During her time with the service she was awarded the British Empire Medal, the Defence Medal, War Medal, Long Service and Good Conduct medals.

Flight Lieutenant Steve Hawkins, who has been appointed closure officer, is keen to repatriate the medals. As a serving officer Mrs Entwhistle was not allowed to have children so he is looking for other relatives in her family.

He said: “I have a presentation photograph and medals given to RAF Stanbridge by her family. She died in 1992 and her family thought it fitting that her medals be donated to the station.

“I’d really like to return them now that the base is closing otherwise they will end up in a museum.

“RAF Stanbridge opened in 1939 but all I know is that this was her last posting. I don’t even know if she was a local woman but I’m hoping that someone in the area may have remembered her or knows how to contact her surviving family.”

The base’s formal closure takes place this June when VIPs will attend a closure ceremony but it won’t actually shut down until March next year when the final 18 RAF personnel and 100 civilians move out.

Anyone with information about WO Entwhistle should contact Steve Hawkins 01525 372217 ex 7204.