Celebrating City Women | Kenley and the Women’s Auxiliary Airforce

Laura Miller

The City of London Corporation is not often associated with wide open green spaces, but it is in fact responsible for several, including Epping Forest and Hampstead Heath. Perhaps less well known is Kenley Common, located on the edge of Croydon. It was purchased by the City Corporation in 1833 and in the 1940s it was home to RAF Kenley, which played an important part in the Battle of Britain and the defence of London.

RAF Kenley was home to dozens of RAF Airmen and Fighter Pilots but also to women – although women weren’t involved in combat they did work as pilots for the Air Transport Auxiliary delivering planes. But most of the women working at Kenley were ‘WAAFs’; volunteers in the Women’s Auxiliary Airforce, and they carried out a number of roles there including catering, administration, working as mechanics, manning radar stations and most famously, plotting movement of aircraft in the control room.

Discover the reality of life for the women of the WAAF and stories of their experiences at RAF Kenley.