Sidmouth residents asked for help in WAAF quest

Daughter searches for links to

THE daughter of a member of the Women’s Auxillary Air Force during World War Two, is appealing to anyone who may have known two of her mum’s old friends and colleagues for information.

Margaret Martin, who now lives in Brighton, wants to find a link to her late mother’s – Marie Louise Freeman, nee Goddard – past.

She has already appealed to those living in the Exmouth area and hopes people living in Sidmouth might also be able to help as Marie served in Sidmouth in the WAAF.

Her friend, Gwendoline Fielding, who married Alfred F J Teed in Exmouth on September 20, 1944, was a fellow WAAF who was also in Sidmouth.

“It would be lovely to find Gwen or her family and perhaps to find more about Sandy,” said Mrs Martin.

She would also like to find out more about another of her mum’s friends, referred to only as ‘Sandy’, pictured here at Cosford in 1943. Sandy was also in the WAAF and died, aged 23, in 1944.

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Mrs Martin said: “How tragic to die at such a young age. The only other clue I have is that mum told me that when the WAAFs were at Morecombe, marching along the front, a wave swept two of them out to sea. Maybe one was Sandy?”

Marie Goddard was born in Lyndhurst Road, Exmouth, on February 9, 1920, one of four children, and died in December 2009.

The family was well-known in the town. Her father, Bert, was a Freemason and worked for the railway, organising the private hire of railway carriages.

Olive, her mother, was president of the WI, while her brother Ted was signalman at Topsham.

Her two sisters married locally; Doreen to David Garnsworthy of Alphington and Kathleen to John Fuke of Beer.

Marie joined the local volunteer fire service at the outbreak of war and was later recruited into the WAAF. As well as serving in Sidmouth, she also served at Cosford.

Mrs Martin said: “There she met and married my father, Fred Freeman, who had returned there after being held prisoner by the Japanese for three-and-a-half years.”

There has already been some response by Exmouth residents to Mrs Martin’s request for information, now she hopes people living in Sidmouth will be able to help too.

*If you knew any of those mentioned, please contact the Sidmouth Herald on (01395) 888 502 and we will pass on the information to Mrs Martin.