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Brave Faces is Mary Arden’s story as she moves from her privileged English upbringing to dealing with the realities of World War II. Mary’s memoir gives an insight into the changes in society that took place with the advent of war. As the Second World War breaks out, Mary’s parents are determined that their daughter’s privileged upbringing should continue, and that life should carry on as much as normal. She is sent to finishing school and becomes a debutante attending ‘coming out’ balls in London, despite the nightly bombing raids. However, Mary is determined to do her bit for the war effort, and volunteers to serve as a Red Cross Nurse, before joining the WRNS. Accepted into the WRNS, not as an officer, but as ‘other rank’, Mary has to learn to live a very different kind of life to the one she was brought up to expect. She is used to being chaperoned, only talking to men she has been ‘introduced’ to, so it’s an almost impossible task for her Senior WREN Officer to find a suitable category for this naive girl. Mary finally becomes part of a new elite category known as Night Vision Testers, training the young pilots to see in the dark so they can land their planes on the deck of their aircraft carrier and not in the sea. As the war progresses, Mary moves from one Naval Air station to another. Her tasks become stranger than fiction and her duties are definitely outside her job description – and most probably outside the rules too. An evocative memoir about one woman’s life from privilege to service, heartbreak to laughter.