ONE of the last female veterans of the Second World War has died at the age of 101.

Mrs Jean Ellis Livingston, nee Butchart, played a key role in the operations of the top secret radar defences of the UK. Born on May 2 in 1918, she died on February 4.

Growing up in “The Raikes”, in Raikes Road, Skipton, she was educated initially at the Convent, Skipton, and subsequently at St Hilda’s, Whitby, before relocating to London upon graduation, just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War.

In August 1939, she enlisted in the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF), assigned to air stations on the East Coast, where she worked in the then top secret radar defences before, very reluctantly, resigning due to pregnancy, in December 1942.

While on active service, she married then Capt James Livingston, Highland Light Infantry of Glasgow, who deployed overseas in late 1942, returning to the UK in 1946, to be reunited with a wife unseen in almost four years and a son, he had never seen.

Residing briefly in Glasgow, and in Cheshire, the Livingstons returned to Yorkshire in the early 1950s, living at Inglehurst, Grove Road, Ilkley, for many years with their four children - Alastair, Malcolm, and twins, Charlotte and Colin.

Upon the children leaving home, Mr and Mrs Livingston then relocated in the early 1980s to Dale House, Carleton, where she died, as she had wished, peacefully and with dignity, in her own home during the night of February 3-4.

She was widowed in 1987, and is survived by her daughter, Charlotte, and sons, Alastair and Colin, as well as four grandchildren, two of whom live in northern California, two in Croatia, and two great grandchildren, also of northern California.

Mrs Livingston was the daughter of Mr James Butchart, who came to Skipton in 1912, from Edinburgh after medical school, to open the first dental practice in the Dales.

She was the elder sister of Dr J E K Butchart, former Chairman of Skipton Magistrates, and the niece of the only woman whose name is on the Skipton First World War Memorial. Amy Butchart served as a nursing sister prior to being invalided out of the service in 1916, and subsequently died of the influenza epidemic of 1918-19, while still nursing.