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Audrey Malvina Conway

F, #559, b. 8 March 1921, d. 5 December 2015
Audrey Malvina Conway c1929
Audrey Malvina Conway 1st July 1950, St Pauls' Church, Nethergate, Dundee
Audrey Conway 90th birthday Mar 2011
  • Birth*: Audrey Malvina Conway was born on 8 March 1921 at Monifieth West, Forfarshire, Scotland.2
  • She was the daughter of William Ewan Conway and Adele Gertrude Aldridge.
  • Photograph*: Audrey Malvina Conway and Jane Hutchison Wilkie are in this photograph taken in 1929 at Blebo Craigs, Cupar, Fife, Scotland, along with Agnes McKenzie Fisher.3
    L-R: Agnes McKenzie Fisher Conway, Audrey Malvina Conway, Jane Hitchison Wilkie Conway 1929, Blebo Craigs

    World War two found me working in the Gold Coast where my parents were. Leave when it came was taken in South Africa and to reach that beautiful country one travelled by whatever means one could.

    Early 1944 saw us arriving by train in Elizabethville, in the Belgian Congo, in order to catch an American D. C. 3 - that good old, reliable paratrooper plane - back to the Gold Coast. But a lone American Lieutenant, in charge of proceedings, cheerfully decided otherwise insisting that Tantalite, a metal valuable to the war effort, had priority over everything and everybody. We had no option but to wait and hope, filling our days as best we could in a place where there was a polio epidemic and flies were prevalent, landing on food even as one was eating it.

    After fifteen days an American Captain, on his way from Kenya to the Gold Coast, agreed that he and his crew would take any passengers who were stranded and early next morning, in torrential rain, eight or ten of us of mixed nationality waited in the shelter of a hangar for a weather report to come through. Eventually it came. "All's well" we were told "you can board the plane but keep your safety belts on until we are up though the clouds". The Lieutenant looked into the plane and smiled "Have a good trip" he said "its going to be fine" and he clanged the door shut.

    An hour later, with the perspiration dripping off us, we were still there, the plane hadn't moved. The door opened. "Sorry" said the ever cheerful Lieutenant "you can't take off today as one of the engines won't start, you'll have to go back to your hotel. It's just as well really, as you'd have had a dreadfully rough trip!" An hour or so later the Captain and crew joined us with the news that the Carburettor had broken and could not be repaired and that a new one was going to be flown in by a British Bomber, from Accra, and that it did mean we would have to wait a few more days.

    The Bomber arrived three days later and for most if the next day our own crew worked hard fitting the Carburettor - no maintenance men in the Congo to do such work for them. By evening everything was ready and we were told we would leave early the following morning. It dawned a beautiful day and our route, notorious for its "air pockets" and "air cushions", presented us with hardly a bump and we landed i Leopoldville six hours later for our overnight stop. In those out-of-the-way places there was no means of weighing cargo or luggage and before each take-off the Captain had to calculate, as meticulously as possible, the weight we would be carrying.

    We were up early and away to the air field next morning only to discover that the plane made strange banging noises when one of the engines was started. "it's Magneto trouble" we were told. An hour's delay and the trouble was sorted. As we boarded the plane one of the passengers asked "What would have happened if it had gone wrong while we were in the Air?" "Oh, we'd just have pulled into the side and put it right" came the happy reply from the co-pilot.

    Two hour's flying brought us to an R.A.F. base in French West Africa where we would refuel for the six hour flight across the Gulf of Guinea. As the plane made its descent the strange banging noise started again. I turned to the pilot sitting beside me: "Magneto trouble again?" I asked as if I understood what it meant. "Yeah" came the meaningful reply.

    Now eight or ten civilians landing in an all male R.A.F. Camp may be alright but when two of them are females it does make life a little complicated. While our crew worked away under the tropical sun we were entertained in the Mess with cups of tea and coffee and later on lunch. They were a good crowd which helped overcome what could otherwise have been an exceedingly embarrassing situation when the twenty-seater toilet had to be vacated and 'guards' put at the doors to allow two ladies to go inside; the men merely called it "Getting organised"!

    As the afternoon wore on plans were made for us all to go swimming when it got cooler and then to go dancing in the evening. To this day I have never been absolutely sure whether I was glad or sorry that just after four o'clock our plane was pronounced ready for take-off but I do know what I was more than a little pleased when, six hours later, we at last touched down at Accra - eighteen days late.4
  • (Deceased) Death*: Audrey Malvina Conway died on 5 December 2015 at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, Scotland, at age 94.5
Last Edited: 4 Nov 2016


Father*: William Ewan Conway b. 19 Nov 1893, d. 1979
Mother*: Adele Gertrude Aldridge b. 22 Jan 1894, d. 1976


  1. PCC - AC photograph album
  2. [S14] General Record Office for Scotland, online www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, General Record Office for Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland), GROS statutory births 1921 Monifieth West Angus ref 310/02 0044 [Aug 2011].
  3. [S43] PCC - AC photograph album.
  4. [S43] PCC - AC memorabilia.
  5. [S6] MT via DJAA [Dec 2015].