Stories from RAF Wives

Eileens Story

Eileen was a Squadron Leaders wife who had been married for 15 years when her husband started beating her,as soon as her Father died. They were posted abroard for the first time to Germany, where after several weeks living in an hotel, then 3 months in a flat, they were allocated a married quarter .

The husband took over the house and checked it and the inventory, wives are not allowedto be present. When Eileen arrived with her children to move in she found that every mattress, including the double, approximately 10 mattresses, were all heavily urine stained, plus all the upholstered furniture was ruined with various heavy stains. She refused absolutely to accept that she and her children were expected to sleep on those beds and use that furnitue, and isisted that tat all the furnitue in the house being changed. Furthermore, until the house was thoroughly cleaned and made fit for habitation, she stated that she and the children would live in the touring caravan which had been recently purchased , and was parked outside the house.

Eventually when all the furniture had been changed and the house had been thoroughly cleaned and redecorated, Eileen and the children moved in, but she was severely beaten up by her husband, beause as he stated she had " Shown him up." Naturally the screams and disturbance were heard by the neighbours who made enquiries from the husband. Later the frightened daughters aged 9 years and 4 years discovered their father with his head in the gas oven, they informed Eileen who turned the oven off and ensured there was no damage. It was a stage managed stunt to callously transfer sympathy.

At the first opportunity Eileen went to the RAF medical centre to be checked for possible internal injuries, the doctor refused an examination, and dismissed the beating as unimportant. It was so slick that she realized that it must be standard practise, and that many more wives had experienced the same distress.

With mounting anxiety she informed her husband that she wanted to leave and get a divorce, but he had an obviously pat answer, he would immediately transfer to a Middle East Air Force, for example Saudi Arabia, it would be a piece of cake. Eileen would be left in a foreign country with her children, homeless and destitute, her husband would be well protected and could disappear, she would not know where he was and no one would give his address or any help whatsoever. The reality of the situation was hopeless, and she was very frightened with reason, as without evidence she could not get a divorce, and being trapped could be punished with or without cause continually. With no one to turn to for help or even confide in, her parents both dead, she suffered beatings for nearly 3 years, although her husband never touched her face, being an ex RAF heavyweight boxer he was practised in strategy.

On returning to England she again requested an examination from an RAF doctor and could not believe the fact when he refused, there was no way out whatsoever, her husband continually reminding her that when he was ready there would be a divorce.