In search of ‘Frenchie’

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A WOMAN is hoping to make contact with a Jersey woman with whom she became friends when they were serving in the WRAF in the early 1960s.

Karen Walker, of Hayling Island, says that she became a good friend of Barbara Le Main, known as ‘Frenchie, who was from Jersey, and that she would love to get in touch.

If successful, she intends to make her first visit to the Island for a reunion with her friend, who, she says, would have known her as as Kerry Libberton.

‘As often happens in the services , we moved around and lost contact,’ she explained. ‘I have tried various ways to find her but in all probability she would have married and changed her name.’

Karen, now aged 64, says that they served together in 1961/62, firstly at RAF Spitalgale, Grantham, Lincolnshire and then trained together as operations clerks at RAF Shawbury in Shropshire. ‘I went on to RAF Waddington in Lincoln and to RAF North Front, Gibraltar. It was during this time we lost contact,’ she said.

Karen has been married for 45 years to Steve whom she met while they were both serving in the RAF in Gibraltar, and the couple have two children, Alex and Anna-Lee, and two grandchildren.

‘We have lived in Holland, travelled all over the world and have lived for the last 33 years on Hayling Island, Hampshire,’ she said. ‘I have a very full life with sailing, walking, hand bell ringing, local history group and literature group and now retired form being a Sixth Form College secretary for 26 years I have time to try and find friends from my past and Frenchie was a very good friend whom I have always remembered and wondered what she did with her life after the WRAF.

‘She came to my family home in Portsmouth and met my family and my brother who now lives in France. I have just returned from a visit to him and whilst reminiscing about our past he actually said “do you remember the girl called Frenchie who you brought home, did you ever meet up again?”.

‘I found that quite amazing given I am at this time trying to do just that, I told him and he was quite astounded at the coincidence.’

If anyone has any information about ‘Frenchie’, they are asked to contact Karen by e-mail on or by phone on 02392462745

• Pictures

Above: Karen with her dog, Fergal

Below: Picture from their WRAF days. Frenchie is at the end of the middle row, on the right hand side, and Karen is in the same row, third from left

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