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The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund

The RAF Benevolent Fund is the RAF's leading welfare charity providing practical, financial and emotional support to all members of the RAF family, from childhood through to old age. We help with issues from childcare and relationship difficulties to injury and disability, and from financial hardship and debt to illness and bereavement.

Appreciation For Anne Isobel Noel Penrose By The Bbc News Magazine


If it had not been for Annie Penrose, RAF pilots might have found themselves piloting Shrews rather than Spitfires in the Battle of Britain. Her father, Sir Robert McLean, was chairman of Vickers between the wars and worked closely with R J Mitchell who was designing a new single-seater fighter. Mitchell had wanted to call the new plane the Shrew but McLean insisted it was called the Spitfire, the nickname he had bestowed on his somewhat headstrong daughter. After opposition from the Air Ministry he finally got his way. Annie, who was born in India, went on to marry the actor Robert Newton before his drinking and womanising led to divorce. She later married Beakus Penrose and became the chatelaine of the Killiow Estate in Cornwall which she ran well into her 80s.

Added on: 31st October 2011

 

Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund
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