A moving and personal account of a young woman’s experiences of the Second World War from the mother of Sir Tim Rice.
Joan Rice had the same ambitions as many young women of her generation: she wanted to write; wanted to travel; wanted to be famous. With the outbreak of World War II she hurried to enlist – aged 20 – in the Women's Auxillary Air Force, hoping for change, for adventure, and for the chance to 'swank around in uniform'.
Throughout the early years of the conflict she kept a regular diary of her life as a WAAF. Working first at RAF Hendon, she soon moved to a job in British Intelligence, and ultimately to postings in Egypt and Palestine. She witnessed the 'phoney war' explode into the Battle of Britain, lived through the London Blitz and was forced by Rommell's advance to flee Cairo. But her diary also tells the story of everyday war life, of the social whirl of service society and of her very first encounter with the man who would become her husband.
‘Sand in my Shoes’ is a compelling first-hand account of life and love in a defeated Europe. Written with flair and exuberance, Joan's story has lain untouched for some fifty years. Incorporating additional material from her husband's own notes, her diary is a testament to the many women who kept the RAF in the air.