The Pip Beck Centre Integrated Welfare Facility
We’re delighted to announce that the name of our new Integrated Welfare Facility is The Pip Beck Centre which will continue to provide community and chaplaincy services to RAF Waddington and was named in honour of a former member of the Waddington family.
Aircrafts Woman Pip Beck (pictured) was a WAAF Radio Operator during the Second World War. In late 1941, she arrived at RAF Waddington as an 18-year-old recruit and worked in the Flying Control Office where her main task was to talk down the returning Bomber Command crews from operations over Germany and Occupied Europe. Her voice was probably one of the most welcome to be heard by the returning crews as she gave them, in turn, permission to land back on friendly soil. She remained at Waddington until May 1943 and during her time here she threw herself into supporting life on Station, making many good friends. She was known to darn uniforms for the crews and was a member of the Station Choir, becoming a welcome face for the aircrew who she felt great responsibility for.
After the War, Pip wrote a book about her time as a WAAF, “Keeping Watch: A WAAF in Bomber Command”, in which she described her introduction to operations at Waddington and her life supporting the flying effort. She commented about the sense of loss on Station the morning after the Augsburg Raid when none of 44 Squadron’s six Lancasters made it back to Waddington, only the aircraft of John Nettleton landed back in England, the other five failed to return. Her book also gives a great insight to life behind the scenes at Waddington away from the operations and military records, she describes the long working hours and room inspections at her billet in Newall House, to the socials and concerts for the aircrew that she helped organise in the NAAFI. Throughout her book, her compassion and feeling of responsibility shine through. Not only was she competent at her main job, but she supported everyone at Waddington to the best of her abilities.
We know that our new Community and Chaplaincy Centre will support our personnel and their families in the same way that Pip did and be just as welcoming.
Facilities within the new centre which have been significantly enhanced with the very generous support of the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, will offer some great opportunities for the whole of the RAF Waddington community and we look forward to seeing you soon.
Sadly, the grand opening for the building has been delayed due to COVID-19, but we are planning an event as soon as restrictions allow, and we will be sure to share more information and images with you.
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