Phyllis Bingham & the SOE

Discussion in 'WWII (1939 - 1945)' started by euryalus, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. thalauafu

    thalauafu R.I.P.

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    Of Lord Lucan infamy I presume?
     
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  2. Philippa

    Philippa Always a lady.

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    Margaret O'Brien and the Canterville Ghost?
     
  3. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    . . . and Uncle Tom Cobley and all? :rolleyes:
     
  4. Philippa

    Philippa Always a lady.

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    Of course. This is an ecumenical forum, catholic in taste and completely open to any and all DISTRACTIONS!! :D

    Now I'll go back to my lurking!!! :p
     
  5. euryalus

    euryalus Well-Known Member

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    One small detail has turned up, insofar as Phyllis Bingham resigned from SOE in 1944, which was presumably linked to her marriage in that same year. The initial post therefore needs clarification, in that she did not recruit for SOE "throughout the war", as suggested. She was replaced by Winifred Mason, but the FANY girls working for SOE continued to be regarded as “Mrs Bingham’s Unit”.
     
  6. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    Is that the image you meant to upload, euryalus? I can't see anything about Phyllis Bingham or Winifred Mason in that screenshot.
     
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  7. euryalus

    euryalus Well-Known Member

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    There was not supposed to be an image, it should not be there, and now I cannot get rid of it.
     
  8. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    There's only a 15-minute window to edit one's own posts. After that only the Administrators and Moderators can make alterations. I am sure one of them would remove the attachment for you.
     
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  9. Blackmogs

    Blackmogs Moderator. General Dogs(cats)body. Staff Member

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    Would you like me to remove it Euryalus? Oh he has gone.
     
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  10. euryalus

    euryalus Well-Known Member

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    It might be best to remove it (?)
     
  11. Doug

    Doug Administrator. The Main Man. Staff Member

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    Done. :)
     
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  12. euryalus

    euryalus Well-Known Member

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    I have just realised that I have added two First Aid Nursing Yeomanry badges to the "Military Badge" album , although they reflect different stages in the history of the unit. Marian Gamwell, the head of the FANYs, was under considerable pressure from Helen Gwynne-Vaughan to merge her unit with the Auxiliary Territorial Service, and this resulted in a split, whereby Miss Gamwell remained in charge of the "Free FANYs" - the unit that became closely associated with Bletchley Park and the SOE. The other FANYs became drivers, and their cap badge then said "Womens Transport Service FANY" instead of "First Aid Nursing Yeomanry". On a footnote, Denis Healey later stated that "The FANYs were the aristocracy of the womens service".
     
  13. euryalus

    euryalus Well-Known Member

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    Although this might be a bit late, here is the cover of Lady Maclean's Cook Book, by Veronica Maclean, whch contained 17 recipes submitted by Mrs Bingham.
     

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  14. ObanLou

    ObanLou New Member

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    Good afternoon,
    I realise this may an old post and don't know if it will reach many of you now but I have been asked by a reader of The Oban Times newspaper to have a search for a Mrs Phyllis Young within the archives.
    I was also very interested in Mrs Young after hearing her story and wanted to find out more so I decided to have a wee search online. Anyway I thought I would share the article written about her after her death in 1974.

    Mrs Phyllis Young

    FORMERLY OF PORTSONACHAN

    It is with regret that we record the death of Mrs Dorothy Phyllis Young, wife of Colonel James Young, Cuil House, Cairndow, which took place at their home on May 6 after a short illness.

    Daughter of Mr and Mrs F. Walter Fell-Clark of Glencaladh Castle, Tighnabruaich, Phyllis spent most of her life in Argyll. For, although she lived for a time in America – as the wife of Mr Robert Bingham, son of the then U.S Ambassador to Britain, a marriage later dissolved and also in South Africa, it was always to Argyll that she returned.

    At the outbreak of the war, she left America to become one of the earliest volunteers to join the FANYs and was quickly recognised as an able administrator. When the Germans overran Western Europe in the early summer of 1940, she was appointed the SOE branch, which assisted in infiltrating personnel into occupied territories to organise resistance groups and glean information concerning enemy dispositions and movements. Her principal task was the housing, overseeing and briefing of women selected to drop by parachute behind enemy lines. Many of the heroines, including Odette Churchill, whose exploits and valour brought them fame, were among “my girls” to Phyllis Young, and all who returned sought her out.

    At the end of the war she married Col. Young, whom she had first met in 1917 when as an Argyll officer he was recovering from a wound at Glencaladh, which her and her family had converted into a convalescent home. He had left Britain for Ceylon after that was over, but when war again threatened returned to take his part and, on similar duties, met Phyllis again.

    She and her husband acquired the Portsonachan Hotel in 1947 and for twenty-five years were its genial hosts. Primarily an angling hotel, where guests often expect no more than a spartan life and simple food. Portsonachan gained the Youngs a reputation for comfort, fine food and warm hospitality which brought its patrons back to the hotel year after year and spread its name far beyond the borders of Scotland.

    A reflection of her love of the hills and glens, Phyllis was keen on outdoor pursuits, and the dogs which became her favourites and her specialty were deer hounds. She bred many well-known hound, one of which, Ossie (Ossian) was a champion of its breed, and would often course these hounds. She was also a keen skier and was a member of the Kandahar Club which regularly met in Switzerland, and was holder of their silver “K” award.

    At a memorial service held in Kilchrenan Parish Church on Monday afternoon which was attended by a large number of Mrs Young’s friends Rev. J. M. MacKechnie said of her: “In the pilgrimage of life we now and again meet people of arresting personality to whom we immediately react. Phyllis Young was such a person. You could not pass her by.

    “She has the enviable gist of making friends – and even more important keeping them.

    “Her life was a busy one and yet she never allowed the finer things to be crowded out. I am now thinking particularly of her love of music, the satisfaction it gave her and the pleasure others derived through her from it.

    “Today we remember also the services she rendered to her country in the dark days of conflict . . . her courage, enterprise and unswerving devotion to duty.”

    I hope this is of interest to you all.

    Louise Steel
     
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  15. euryalus

    euryalus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you ObanLou, for an interesting follow-on - I hope that Huncamunca has seen it (?)
     

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