Mairie Birnie receives her Veteran's Badge in her 100th year

Mairie Birnie receives her Veteran's Badge in her 100th year

- 14/11/2013

On Saturday 9 November surrounded by family, staff and residents at Isle View Nursing Home in Aultbea, The Lord Lieutenant for Ross-shire, Janet Bowen, presented Mairi Birnie with her Veteren’s Badge for her service to this country during World War II.

The Nursing Home lounge was decorated with Union Jack flags and bunting and after a sing-along of war-time songs Mairi, accompanied by her daughter, niece, grandchildren and great-grandchildren enjoyed a delicious buffet tea with her carers and fellow residents.

Mairi (nee Mackenzie) was born in Dingwall in 1914, just a month after the start of World War One. She spent her early years in Dingwall and has many fond memories of her young life there.

In 1941 Mairi decided to enlist and applied to join the Women’s Royal Navy, but while waiting patiently for her application to be processed she heard about the Women’s Royal Air Force’s urgent need for personnel and enlisted as a W.R.AF.

Although the war ended in May 1945, Mairi was not de-mobbed until later that year, when she returned to her home town of Dingwall and to her pre-war job with R.S.McColls, sweetshop, but she maintained her contact with the services and was one of the two ex-service women who founded the Women’s Section of the British Legion in Dingwall.

In her ‘One Hundreth year now, Mairi still remembers her war-time experiences and the many friends she made during her years in the Women’s Royal Air Force.

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