Globetrotting servicewoman rescued from gunfire in Cyprus by taxi driver

Date: Tuesday 28th May 2019

TRIBUTES have been paid to a globetrotting Eden woman who “enjoyed every minute of life”, following her death at the age of 93.

Enid Alderson served with the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) in a number of countries. She was a well-known figure in the Upper Eden area, where most of her family still live, although she had lived in West Yorkshire for more than 40 years.

Born at her parents’ farm, Ridding House, just outside Nateby, she was the youngest of five daughters, after Doris, Laura, Ethel and Ellis.

Growing up, she helped with the sheep and cattle on the family farm as well as helping her father build drystone walls.

She attended Nateby County School, where she was a model pupil. The family moved to Thringill Farm, Nateby ,where her duties ranged from dealing with the cart horses during haytime to killing rats with a hammer — being paid one halfpenny a rat.

In 1952, her father retired and the family moved to Elmhurst, Kirkby Stephen.

In her early 20s Enid changed career and joined the armed forces, initially serving with the Army and then in the WRAF. From around 1947 she spent four years in the WRAF, being stationed in Singapore, Hong Kong and Egypt. For two years she worked in the office of the Deputy Judge Advocate for the Middle East.

When she came out of the armed forces she went to live with two of her sisters in Bradford, where they worked at a mill, and took a course in shorthand and typing before working in a woollen mill office. She achieved one of the highest marks in the Civil Service exams.

She returned to Eden and worked for more than a year in Carlisle with the East Cumberland coroner, Colonel F. W. Halton. Due to her experience in the Middle East she was offered work in the office of the Deputy Judge Advocate in Germany, where she was based mainly in Dusseldorf and Bielefeld.

Later, she served in a similar office in Cyprus during a time of violent civil unrest as both ethnic Greek and Turkish Cypriots fought a guerrilla campaign for independence. She was rescued from gunfire by a taxi driver in one episode.

After spending around 20 years overseas she settled back in the UK in 1969, living in Carlisle and working at the county courts. In the early 1970s she moved to Keighley and then Oakworth.

She worked at the county court in Skipton before retiring, after which she enjoyed holidays alongside making dolls and upholstery.

Enid is survived by goddaughter and niece Sylvia Carrick, of Kirkby Stephen, one other niece and three nephews.