'Peggy gets her shillings'
On 22nd August 2022, Air Specialist (AS1) William Anderson travelled to a care home in Llanelli, South Wales to present Mrs Margaret ‘Peggy’ Terry, a 99-year-old Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) veteran, with five wartime silver shillings.
William, a motor transport driver at RAF Coningsby, was deployed to South Wales as part of Operation Rescript, which entailed RAF personnel providing emergency services with support throughout the pandemic to reduce the strain on health care workers. William was driving an ambulance alongside a paramedic at the time of meeting Peggy, she recognised his beret and the two formed a connection over their military lives.
William was in awe of Peggy’s military tales; she showed her service and release book to him where a written statement explained that she was owed 5 shillings - over 80 years ago!
He explained his military background at RAF Coningsby, after a long legacy of 14 family members that have previously served. Peggy revealed that she was also posted to RAF Coningsby in WW2. The two formed a bond over this coincidence, therefore it was only fitting for our Station to present her with the five wartime shillings, as a simple yet amusing gesture (better late than never!).
William was keen to reunite with Peggy, who left a lasting impression on him. He liaised with the family, care home and the RAF to arrange to visit her again. RAF Coningsby decided to locate five genuine wartime shillings to give to the WAAF veteran – William was ecstatic to be able to present the shillings and a Station print himself. The shillings are dated 1941 to 1945, to reflect the years she served.
The touching story moved Carol Vorderman to tears when she was kind enough to mention it on her BBC Wales show. BBC Wales
After months of planning, William made the five-hour trip today to reunite with his fellow military friend and her family.
"It was a great experience to work with the Welsh Ambulance Service, the variety of people I met and the opportunity to see what our ‘blue-light’ services do. It was lovely to meet Peggy and to hear of her experiences at Coningsby during the war. For the RAF and for me personally it is tremendously important that we remember and recognise the service of our veterans, so I’m delighted to be here today meeting Peggy again and presenting her with the coins.” -AS1 William Anderson
Peggy’s daughter, Cathy Jones, said;
“Our family is grateful to the RAF and to the Welsh Ambulance Service for the care they provided to our mother. It is nice to know that the RAF still cares for its veterans and the presentation today was a lovely gesture on their behalf.’
From RAF Coningsby and the whole of the Royal Air Force, thank you for your service, Mrs Margaret ‘Peggy’ Terry.