Living Memorial | Peggy Sorrell
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Peggy Sorrell

About This Project

Peggy Sorrel was born at Twickenham, Middlesex, in 1923. It was her mother who persuaded her to join the forces and help with the war effort. Sorrell therefore joined the Royal Air Force and decided to take on the role of a wireless operator because, she said, with a little chuckle: “It offered the best pay.”


In her job, Sorrell initially dealt with radio operations, but as the years progressed so did technology and she therefore had to learn about more advanced aspects of the work. Throughout the war she attended several courses to provide her with the suitable training she needed. Firstly, she went to Newcastle to train at the general post office for four months. Following this, she was posted to Kidlington, Oxford.


About a year later, Sorrell had to take a new course in the newly introduced high-speed wireless technology. This took place at Chiswick, west London, for another four months. After this, Sorrell was posted to Leighton Buzzard, which she disliked because of its lengthy distance away from London. There she specialised in working with the famous Morse code that helped Britain win the war.


Finally, the opportunity arose for her to get posted to London, which she gladly took advantage of and spent the remaining years of the war working in the capital in the Air Ministry. There was a particular life threatening incident that Sorrell had experienced when was visiting her grandparents out of London. A bomb had dropped on a schoolhouse a few doors down from where she was living in a village. Though people were killed, Sorrell escaped without injury. After the war, Sorrell found it difficult to decide what she was going to do. She explained that many people felt “at a loss” after the war.


United Kingdom

Royal Air Force
RAF, Wireless operator