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Thread: Interpretation of a service record

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    Default Interpretation of a service record

    I have the service record of a Polish girl, living in Jerusalem, Palestine (as was), who enlisted in the WAAF in September 1944. Before receiving the document I had assumed (fatal) that the enlistment took place in Palestine, but realise I got that wrong! Her record reads:

    Middle East 12.9.44
    WAAF Depot 12.9.44
    Stn Heliopolis 10.10.44 (I think)
    AHQ E.M 04.01.45
    11 Met Unit Aqir 27.01.45
    25 MFU (Met Forecast Unit) Aqir 15.07.45

    1. Would I be correct in believing the WAAF Depot was in Cairo/Heliopolis?
    2. The AHQ E.M. should, I think, read AHQ M.E. - but where was it located?
    3 & 4. I'm rather thrown by Aqir being labeled the home of 11 Met Unit, then 25 MFU - I suspect this actually means 11 Met Unit was renamed 25 MFU on 15 July 1945, but can anyone confirm that please? Unfortunately Met Office records are a bit thin on the ground.

    Brian

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    Hello,

    AHQ E.M. = AIR HEADQUARTERS EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN.

    Formed 1.2.44 out of AHQ Air Defences Eastern Mediterranean and No.201 Group at CAIRO. (Advanced HQ Alexandria) (controlled Nos.209, 210, 212 & 219 Groups); 14.2.44 Rear and Advanced HQ merged at Alexandria - Rear AHQ left Cairo for Alexandria and Advanced HQ moved into new Admin block at Laurens House Hotel; 1.3.45 absorbed No.203 Group; Disbanded into No.219 Group 28.2.46.

    See: FT&SU since 1912(2007)/Sturtivant & Hamlin/101.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 29th May 2018 at 23:42.

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    Hi Brian,

    1. well, I was unable to find any info about WAAF Depot in Egypt on TNA site... The only hint I found is a short footage: https://www.britishpathe.com/video/V...IRO/query/WAAF.
    The only ME WAAF Depot I found is this one:
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/C7160662

    HTH

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Thank you, Coll, a marvelous reference book that.

    Thank you also, Pavel. Like you I've had great difficulty in identifying WAAF Depots in that part of the world, but by fluke more than anything else I have just come across the following in the TNA

    AIR 29/481/5: Women's Auxiliary Air Force Depot, Middle East (ME). Formed at Lydda (Palestine) in April 1943. Moved to Ramleh(Palestine) in December 1943. It was disbanded 31 March 1945. (http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/C7160662)

    Oops, apologies, it's the same as yours!

    Brian

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    Hi Brian

    WAAF Depot at Ramleh is confirmed by CAFL and SD161.

    June SD161 has 11 MFU at Alexandria and 25 MFU at Aqir, so two different units and still as such in Jan 1945. I currently don't have any later SD161s or CAFLs

    Malcolm
    Last edited by malcolm_raf; 30th May 2018 at 11:12.

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    Thank you, Malcolm. It is proving very difficult to tease out the exact details of this lady's life; no sooner do I think I've resolved something than another fly lands in the ointment. Her service record is quite clear on her being at 11 MU Aqir, but the fact that she was previously at Alexandria with AHQ S.E. makes your advice eminently sensible. Unless an alternative crops up I'll go down your path.

    Brian

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    Hi Brian.I am an Israeli researcher and i am very much interested in every piece of information about Lili Stefania Bankier. You mentioned that you have her service record which is amazing.You see
    nothing is known about her in Israel.I red all the info about her on your forum. What interests me most at this stage are her biographic info.For example you mentioned that she lived in Jerusalem.
    How do you know that? In short i admire your persistence.Ill be happy to get your respond.

    Jacob

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    Hi Jacob, welcome to the forum.

    I started looking into Lili's life in 2006 when I began compiling biographies of the 75 names on the Meteorological Office Roll of Honour. At the time my only sources were the Lodz Jews Heritage, Volunteers in Blue by Yosef Shavit (in Hebrew) and the Operations Record Book of RAF Deversoir where she died in an aircraft accident on 28 July 1945. Earlier the year, being unhappy with what I had written, I revisited her story and was fortunate to make contact with Rosemary Eshel of the Israel Genealogy Research Association in Jerusalem.

    She kindly provided a considerable amount of information, including newspaper items, from her own sources. Lili had been buried in the Mount of Olives Cemetery but it was believed her grave had been destroyed during either the Arab-Israeli war of 1948 or subsequent Jordanian occupation of the West Bank. In fact Rosemary discovered that Lili's grave had recently been identified by Elad, in reasonable condition, near the summit of the Mount of Olives. It bears the inscription May her dear soul rest in peace.

    Lili's father died in the Lodz Ghetto during 1942, and her mother, Sophie remarried sometime between 1948 and 1954 before emigrating to Boston, Massachusetts. She died in August 1989 and is buried in the Sharon Memorial Park, Massachusetts.

    The text of Lili's biography is all but complete, but before I could add images my wife became very ill and the last three months have been rather fraught. I hope to finalise the draft in the near future and would be happy to help you further then.

    Could I ask why you are interested in Lili?

    Brian

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    Hi Brian.
    Thank you very much for the information. Well, i am a retired government employee and my hobby is the history of the land of Israel. Among other things i was always interested in peoples life stories and
    there is no better place to look for this kind of stories but at the cemeteries.That's how i came along Lili Bankier. She is not the only one from the same cemetery i am researching.Do you research any other cases in Israel? The file of Lili you mentioned does include any additional info about her?

    Jacob

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    Hi Brian.

    It's me again.I would like to get in touch with Rosemary Eshel. Do you have her email address and phone number?

    Jacob

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