Ken Wilkinson joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in March 1939, aged 20 and was called up on the outbreak of World War II.
During the Battle of Britain, Ken flew Spitfires with 616 Squadron, later moving to 19 Squadron in October 1940. Ken continued to serve in the RAF until 1945, followed by a further two years in the RAFVR.
Later in life, Ken became a Quantity Surveyor and one of his projects was Birmingham’s New Street Station.
Ken was a keen supporter of the Museum. He is pictured below (back row, second on the left) at a dinner at Bentley Priory in 2012, joined by other Battle of Britain veterans.
In September 2013, Ken was also a guest of honour at the Royal opening of the Museum. He joined fellow RAF and WAAF veterans at a reception with the Battle of Britain Trust’s patron, Prince Charles, and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.
Patricia Clark (nee Robins) joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) aged 19 in 1940. She was selected for Clerk Special Duties and trained as a Plotter/Teller. She was posted at both RAF Rudloe Manor, Headquarters No. 10 Group and later RAF Watnall, Headquarters No. 12 Group.
Later on in the war, Patricia was posted to Stanmore, where they were tracking incoming V2 bomb attacks on London.
Following the war, Patricia followed in the footsteps of her mother, the romantic novelist Denise Robins, and became a novelist herself, under the pen name “Claire Lorrimer”. She wrote over 80 novels, but also wrote her autobiography, “You Never Know” which includes her life in the WAAF.
Patricia was very supportive of Bentley Priory Museum and was a guest of honour at the opening of the Museum in September 2013 where she was able to show Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, a new bronze statue of her wartime self and others in a replica Filter Room.