Force: Women’s Auxiliary Air Force
Unit: 6 P.A.F.U.
Anne Marsh Evans (nee Foley) was born in Nottingham, England in the inter-war period. She remembers at the outbreak of the Second World War, she was a student at the Nottingham College of Art and helped keep night watch over the school. She along with other students on breaks from keeping watch loved roasting potatoes over coals in the furnace.
She graduated with a degree at seventeen and joined the W.A.A.F. as an airplane fitter. For sixty hours a week she stripped down airplanes after flights looking for tears or breaks in the fabric or hydraulics. She also signed up to be a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm, but was disappointed that she never learned to fly due to the end of the war in Europe.
Her parents were also involved in the war effort, her father was the leader of a Home Guard Squadron and her mother worked as a nurse. It was at a base dance in Gloucestershire where she met Lea Marsh, a Canadian flight instructor. The two married and she followed him back to Canada in April of 1946. She remembers riding on the train from Halifax to Toronto smelling for the first time in her life the pungent odour of a Canadian skunk. She and her husband Lea raised six children on a farm just outside of London, ON.
Ann eventually went on to re-marry and opened Jaeman Art Studio and Gallery with her second husband. Together, the two travelled around North America and Europe, painting and sight-seeing. She now lives in Meaford, Ontario where she still paints and gardens.
Top Image Photo of Anne on enlistment, taken with her service number Images left to right:
- 1942, Little Kissington, close crop of Anne marching in formation
- Anne and friends in overalls
- Anne posing with friend for Military photograph (Anne standing on ground) “we actually never worked on airplanes like this, it was all for show”
- Anne with airplane
- Anne with friends
- Family photo
- Picture of Fitter Course Graduates, Anne is third in from the right in the middle row
- 1943, Anne with friends Daphne, Kit and Marie, taken in front of quarters in Little Kissington
- Marching in formation, on way to a funeral
- News clipping about British war brides leaving for Canada, and photo