on 6 June 2012
Christine Halsall's WOMEN OF INTELLIGENCE is the first ever study of the secret work carried out by women at RAF Medmenham during the Second World War. Medmenham could be described as the RAF's answer to Bletcheley Park code-breaking centre.
Hidden away in Danesfield House (today a luxury hotel) women like Sarah Oliver the daughter of Winston and Clementine Churchill interpreted the photographs taken by pilots over Germany and German-occupied territories. This work shortened the war and saved lives. Sarah, ever the live wire, married to Vic Oliver, played the piano and kept spirts up. Father, Prime Minister Winston whose official country home Chequers was just down the road would roll up in the official limo. and collect his daughter after work. You will love this book, it is well written, a real entertainment as well as being impeccably researched, and it is packed full of original photographs including a section in colour. Celia.
on 24 July 2012
this is a really interesting book on a hitherto unknown aspect of women's work during the Second World War.The author skilfully combines a mass of information about the development of photographic interpretation and how essential it was to the war effort with many enjoyable descriptions of life at Danesfield House and the young women who worked there. Like Bletchley Park, the PI unit at Danesfield contained people from many different walks of life and with all kinds of practical skills, and the author narrates how this diverse population became a highly efficient unit with an incredible output of daily information about the enemy. The book includes many reminiscences from the women who worked there and this helps to really bring the story "alive". Well researched and with a very readable style, be warned - once you start this book, you won't be able to put it down until you reach the final page!
on 23 July 2013
Many decades ago, I fell in love with Constance Babington Smith's wonderful book; "Evidence In Camera". Since then I have
paid a visit to Danesfield House and it's Beautiful surroundings, and it exudes a very creative atmosphere.
Christine Halsall's book picks up on this tread in a magnificent way, a most interesting and readable book.
In my opinion her book is a gem.
Thanks Chritine Halsall for a wonderful book!