William Norman Helsby was an Aircraft Fitter posted to Silloth about 1941 after being evacuated from France from St Nazaire and witnessing the sinking of the “Lancastria”. Doris Binks was also in Silloth with the WRAF, working as a parachute packer. She was billeted in a Hotel near the seafront. William and Doris met, while both were based in Silloth and visited each other in a local Café known as Mrs Murray’s.
William was posted to Egypt, and Palestine in late 1941 or early 1942. He didn’t return to see Doris until after the War. They married in 1946 and their son, Peter, was born in Blackpool in 1949. William was still with the RAF at that time. Peter believes he was teaching at a RAF base near Blackpool.
Peter is intending to visit the UK in October 2014. Anyone with photos or any other information that can help build a picture of his parent’s time in Silloth, please get in touch. Peter would be interested in finding out where Mrs Murray’s cafe was and also which hotel his mother was billeted in. Any new information will also help update this website.
The above information was supplied by William and Doris’s son, Peter Helsby .