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Thread: Aircraftwoman Wanda Soden

  1. #11
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    Further to my last post, it seems as though the latter years of her life must have been eventful. Her husband's obituary (Times 15.2.61) makes no reference to her, but does include the following:

    "Soden was twice in the news in more recent years. In 1953 he put to flight 20 members of a Mau Mau gang who ransacked his house near Timau, north Kenya, and last year while flying a small private aircraft to help evacuate refugees he was detained by Congolese troops for a short period."

    The marriage appears to have been childless; the only blood relatives at a memorial service on 15 March 1961 were a sister and aunt.

    Brian

  2. #12
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    Hi
    I am not sure but I don't think that the WAAF existed before 1939 having had a previous life in WW1 up to about 1920. I wonder if Wanda Soden was herself engaged in any flying activity in Kenya, and the Graveside word Airwoman is an attempt to provide a feminised description of the activity by way of Memorial.
    Regards
    Dick

  3. #13
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    FO Soden was still flying his own aircraft until at least the year before he doed. A picture of it in the 1950's is on flight global. So yes it could be air woman ifbshe learnt to fly as well.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Aircraftwoman Wanda Soden

    Hi all

    I appreciate that this is an old thread, but I can shed a little light.

    WWI Ace, Frank Ormond Soden, married divorcee Wanda Baillie-Hamilton (nee Holden, 21 Oct 1910-30 Oct 1956), at St. Margaret Church, Westminster, on 7 Nov 1936. Following his retirement from the RAF on 21 May 45, he and Wanda emigrated to Timau, near Nanyuki, Northern Kenya, to farm 161 acre property on the NW slopes of Mt Kenya, in 1947. Wanda died there, in Cottage Hospital, Nanyuki, in 1956.

    Frank went on, as discussed above, to single-handedly fight off a gang of 20 men who ransacked his home during Mau Mau Uprising in 1953. Seven years later, in July 1960, he also helped evacuate Belgians & Canadians from Paulis [Isiro] in Belgian Congo [Democratic Republic of Congo] with his own Cessna during an uprising of mutineering Congolese troops. He was held overnight under armed guard and flew to Entebbe, Uganda, and freedom the following day. It is unclear when or why Frank returned to the UK (perhaps he felt unsafe in Kenya?), but he died in St Georges Hospital, London, about seven months later, on 12 Feb 61. Although a memorial service was held at St Clement Danes, I have not been able to establish where he is buried.

    In any case, Frank's death notice, in the Zimbabwe Death Register confirms that there was no issue from the marriage and that Frank only had one surviving sister at the time, Kathleen Whitney Brown, who was about four years his junior and lived in Newton Abbott. His older brother died in 1941, and his older sister in 1904. His brother (like Frank, also a WWI veteran) had three sons, two of whom served in the RAF and one in the Army during WWII. All three died or were killed between 1940 and 1942.

    Regards
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Aircraftwoman Wanda Soden

    Steve Thanks

    She was Airwoman

    Wanda Soden 2029461 1941 Royal Air Force

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Aircraftwoman Wanda Soden

    Enlisted 2029461 in Block 2000000-2099999 WAAF I of R Issued 01-May-41 to 31-Jul-42.
    Mathematically this would be about mid-Sept 1941. Jonny (if he's on the cct) may have a better analoque date?
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: Aircraftwoman Wanda Soden

    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/...k-ormond-soden

    Note a photo of Wanda at the bottom of the page with a link to her details on findagrave. She was quite a beauty, an MP and the photo of her headstone looks like the CWGC type.
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 14th August 2022 at 01:27.

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