British civilian secretary served with MI5 in GB; secretary served with at Special Operations Executive Headquarters in London, 1942- 1943; personal assistant to Fitzroy Maclean in Cairo, 1943-1944
REEL 1 Background in GB and Switzerland, 1922-1942: family including father's service during First World War; education in Switzerland and GB; outbreak of war; setting up house for blackout; attitude toward war; air raids; moves following father in RAF; application to join sister at MI5; accommodation in Oxford; journey to work; description of office and work including problems from dyslexia; parts of house used by MI5; opinion of work; leisure activities in Oxford; details of accommodation at Keble College; washing facilities; problems caused by electric fire; health problems. REEL 2 Continues: details of work; canteen; flower stall; security on entrance; accommodation taken in Oxford; work in London packing parcels for POWs; sister in Cairo; memories of Stirling family; work with Bill Stirling in Glasgow; joining of Special Operations Executive. Aspects of period as civilian secretary with Special Operations Executive Headquarters in GB, 1942-1943: description of 64 Baker Street including operations room and accommodation; memories of Bill Simpson; background of staff; memories of Vic Lockhart; further details of 64 Baker Street; memories of Maurice Buckmaster including visits to concentration camp commemorations in 1970s. REEL 3 Continues: life in London including details of pay; time off and leisure activities; air raids; loss of touch with friends; contact with Polish Airmen; awareness of Special Operations Executive with organisation and among taxi drivers; period in section dealing with Far East including memories of John Keswick; secrecy including selection of employees by head of MI5; background to being transferred to Cairo; journey via Lisbon to Cairo. Aspects of period as civilian personal assistant to Fitzroy Maclean in Egypt, 1943-1944: arrival including destruction of cover; short period as cipherine; posting with Fitzroy Maclean; story of night out before hospitalisation with jaundice; details of meeting in Alexandria with General Tito's delegation; leisure activities; accommodation; working day including activities during siesta; memories of Fitzroy Maclean.
Over two million American servicemen passed through Britain during the Second World War. In 1944, at the height of activity, up to half a million were based there with the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). Their job was to man and maintain the vast fleets of aircraft needed to attack German cities and industry.