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From foiling Hitler’s V2 rockets to championing adult education, Eileen Younghusband Lecture Series continues

8 May 2019

Second annual lecture honours extraordinary life of campaigner who received the British Empire Medal

Cardiff is proud of all its alumni. But some former students become truly inspirational. Eileen Younghusband (nee La Croissette) is one such figure whose remarkable achievements are now memorialised every year in the Exploring the Past lecture series.

Eileen Younghusband (1921-2016) was a filter officer in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force during World War II, working on the assessment of radar reports and joining the team tasked with detecting the location of Hitler’s V2 rockets. In later life, she studied with Continuing and Professional Education for 12 years before completing a degree - aged 87 - with the Open University and publishing her first book, Not an Ordinary Life. Further books were to follow, including Eileen’s War, a book for children.

Eileen was a committed supporter of the Centre for Lifelong Learning (now Continuing and Professional Education), and in 2013 she was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for campaigning against cuts in adult education in Cardiff.

This year a fellow former student gives the memorial lecture. Mature student Dan Jewson has been closely involved with Continuing and Professional Education. His return to study came through the Exploring the Past Pathway and now, having graduated from Cardiff, he is an AHRC doctoral candidate based at both the Centre for Medical History at Exeter University, and Cardiff University’s School of History, Archaeology and Religion. Previously supported by the Wellcome Trust, his primary research interests centre on the history of psychiatry.

Dr Paul Webster, Co-Ordinator of the Exploring the Past Pathway, said, “We’re hugely excited to welcome Dan to deliver this second memorial lecture in memory of a true pioneering learner, Eileen Younghusband. Both Eileen and Dan are truly inspirational, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate their achievements in lifelong learning.”

In the 2019 lecture, Dan Jewson will give a rare opportunity to ‘hear’ patients speak for themselves through his latest research on patient life in the Glamorgan Lunatic Asylum 1864 – 1914, exploring the inner world of the asylum, and the ‘interior word’ of the patient. With a particular focus on the experiences of women, the lecture places patient communications centre stage to reveal the complex interactions between the perspectives, practices and responses of the confined through the lens of patient writings.

The Eileen Younghusband Memorial Lecture Patient life in the Glamorgan Lunatic Asylum 1864 – 1914 takes place on 12th June at 7.15pm at Continuing and Professional Education, Senghennydd Road, Cardiff. Places are absolutely free, with early arrival recommended.

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