Alfred Lister and Mabel Twiddy Cardington in 1942.

We have been very fortunate indeed to hear from Wendy Rest who has three great Cardington connections. Her father Alfred William Lister was at the camp in 1942 and her mother was also there serving as a WAAF balloon operator. It also transpires that Alfred’s cousin was married to Hugh Oswald Short. (Hugh Oswald Short and his brother Eustace came to Bedford in 1915 to establish a site to build airships for use in WW1 – their site later became RAF Cardington). Wow! Thank you so much Wendy for getting in touch.

In Wendy’s words:

“I have just found your website and read with much interest. My deceased father was there in C flight and I have a photo of him with his companions dated 412 squadron July 8th 1942, his name was Alfred William Lister, I think I remember him saying he was referred to as Bill!

2. Mabel Elsie Twiddy balloon operator in 1942

Wendy's mum - photo dated 1942

6. Alfred William Lister in Burma

Alfred in Burma

7. Alfred William Lister taken near Skegness
1. Mabel Elsie Twiddy balloon operator

"I think this is of mum at West Raynham."

With regard to the Shorts part of the family, Hugh Oswald short was married to my father’s cousin and I am sure dad would have been well aware of the connection, they married in 1935. I have just another thought - dad went into the RAF wanting to fly and be a pilot presumably because of the shortage of them as their life expectancy was not long. Dad always wore glasses for close work, but did not wear them for medicals, he went in front of 8 doctors he said to be able to fly and passed a1, the final medical apparently he wore the glasses so that was the end of that, he always said the doctor was stunned he had got so far, he then became an armourer and loaded 500lb and 1000lb bombs into the planes working mainly on Spitfires and Hurricanes, but I think that was mostly in Burma. I do know that he was at an RAF camp in Lincs not far from Kings Lynn when Douglas Bader arrived and inspected them.

Dads medals:
1939-1945 Star, Burma Star, Defence Medal, War Medal, Two Oak Leaf Emblems mentioned in despatches twice. "

Oswald Short

Oswald Short - of Short brothers fame.

Thanks again to Wendy - brilliant! And if anyone out there recognises any faces here please make contact.

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