To mark VJ Day 75 we’ll be speaking to two sisters, Patricia and Jean Owtram whose father was a prisoner of war in the Far East. At the time both sisters were serving their country. They are the last two living sisters to have signed the official secrets act in WW2. Patricia received a Legion of Honour for her interception of enigma code for Bletchley park as a WREN tapping into German shipping radio while Jean was a code & cipher officer in Egypt and Italy supporting secret agents and partisans fighting the Nazis. Now aged 97 & 94 they have collaborated on a book, Codebreaking Sisters, Our Secret War. They acknowledge that the war changed their lives “instead of just marrying, I went to university and then journalism before being a BBC TV producer” remembers Pat. And Jean says: “Girls from our class were destined to live a very narrow existence, focused on husband and children. The war gave us broader horizons and bigger adventures. I believe we have both been more useful to the world because of it.”
How can you choose a planet-friendly sandwich? And how bad is it for an apple to travel from the other side of the world to get to your fruit bowl? Professor Sarah Bridle is part astrophysicist, part food-enthusiast, who wanted to know the environmental cost of her lunch. Much of the data was complex – so she’s simplified it in her book Food and Climate Change: Without the Hot Air which includes the greenhouse gases created by growing, harvesting, transporting and cooking what we eat, as well as the food itself. She’d like to see labelling of air-freighted foods in supermarkets to give consumers a better understanding of the impact of our diet on the planet.
Throughout the summer, Woman’s Hour is offering ‘How To’ guides for some of life’s biggest questions. Today, we explore the best way to handle conflict and tension – whether it’s at home, with friends and family, at work or in public. What’s the best way to get your point across without letting your emotions overwhelm you? Ama Afrifa-Tchie is the Head of Culture & Wellbeing at Mental Health First Aid England. Charly Lester is a dating expert and freelance journalist. Jessamy Hibberd is a chartered clinical psychologist.
Presenter: Jenni Murray
Producer: Lucinda Montefiore