ISLAND-BORN Mollie Clapp, who served as a leading aircraftwoman during the Second World War, has died aged 96, following a fall at home.
Mrs Clapp was born at Bettesworth Road, Haylands, on February 29, 1920, and had three younger siblings, sisters Brenda and Peggy and brother Peter.
After attending local schools, she went to work at 15 for Harry Plumbley at Kemp Hill Farm, Ryde, where she looked after his son and became involved in farm work, including milking the cows and milk deliveries.
During the Second World War, she joined the WRAF and served at RAF bases at Gloucester, Market Drayton, Fernhill, Hednesford and Henlow, where she was responsible for aircraft despatch.
It was during her war service she met Don Clapp in 1943. He was a railwayman from Exeter and was serving in the Army Catering Corps at Hitchin.
They were married at St James’s Church, East Cowes, on October 20, 1945. Mollie’s family had by this time moved to East Cowes and endured the town’s wartime devastation.
The couple initially lived there but later moved to Axminster, Devon, and had five children — Sue, Andrew, Shelly, Brigitte and Nicola.
They moved back to East Cowes in 1956, allowing Mrs Clapp to look after her mother. Mr Clapp joined Southern Vectis.
Mrs Clapp’s interests included cooking, a love of animals and involvement in the Red Cross.
She also worked at the Fibre Resin plastics factory and then at Osborne Cottage care home.
The funeral took place at the IW Crematorium on October 4, followed by a memorial service at Clarence Road Evangelical Church, East Cowes, where the couple had worshipped for many years.
She leaves her husband after a marriage of more than 70 years, five children, 12 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren and a surviving sister, Peggy.