No 8 Group Coventry

Ashbourne Section


On January 5th. 2002, the wedding took place in Abergele, North Wales of two long serving ROC volunteers - J W (Bill) Deuchar and M C (Peggy) Evans. Peggy and Bill both joined the Corps in the 1940's, Bill in 1941 (Upsall Post in York Group) and Peggy 1948 (Manchester Ops Room).

Situated in an area very busy with aircraft movements, both friendly and hostile, Upsall Post gave the young Bill plenty of experience in recognition and his volunteering for Seaborne duties in 1944 was successful. Along with his younger brother Jack, he served on American troopships from Southampton and Northern Ireland to the Omaha and Utah beaches. Their first ship was mined in mid-channel but made the beach-head for unloading; after four days' survivors' leave, Bill and Jack were posted to a liberty ship. After the war, Bill served at the Manchester Ops Room, transferring to Buxton Post (Coventry Group) in the 1970's where he served until retirement in the 1980's. His service record was recognised by the award of the BEM, the ROC Medal and finally, in 1994, the Normandy Medal of the French Goverment.

Peggy had an equally illustrious record. After initial service from 1948 at the Manchester Ops Room, she was appointed Post Controller and later served at Western Sector. On transfer to Buxton Post, her outstanding Master Test record continued and, when she retired in the 1980's, checks showed that she had one of the highest number of Spitfire awards in the United Kingdom. In her later years at Buxton, along with Bill, she did invaluable training work with the post crew although she chose to remain in the rank of Observer. Peggy was also awarded the BEM and the ROC medal.

Following stand-down in 1991, both Peggy and Bill became stalwarts of the Coventry ROCA and regular attenders of the Ashbourne Section meetings, their attendance only ceasing when they moved to North Yorkshire.

Although their wedding was very much a family affair, there was also an large enough ex-ROC attendance for serious consideration to be given for an attendance list to be sent to Bentley Priory ! Two former officers were present - Marjorie Lloyd and Jon Layne. Marjorie joined during World War 2 and was one of the first female officers and one of Peggy's first officers. She was awarded the MBE for her Corps service. In contrast, Jon Layne was a relative new-comer to the ROC (1971); his only claim to fame on this occasion was that he was Peggy and Bill's last Group Officer. There were also three other former Corps members from the former Manchester Ops Room. Agnes Hillyard (sister of Marjorie Lloyd) served from 1947 before leaving the UK to join the staff of the British High Commission in East Africa. Ken and Norma Collins joined in the 1950's and Ken became a triangulation expert. When the Ops Room closed, they both transferred to a post in Lancashire where they stayed until stand-down but they told me that they had their uniforms still pressed just in case !!

I'm sure that all who know Peggy and Bill will join those of us who were there in Abergele to drink a belated toast to the Happy Couple - Mr and Mrs J W Deuchar BEMx2.

Jon Layne Secretary Ashbourne Section CROCA January 2002

[08may02 01:15]