A BOOK capturing the memories of family and dancing beginning during the First World War and finishing in 1960 has been completed by a 94-year-old woman.

Three years in the making, the collected memoirs of Desirée Partridge, who now lives in Silchester, tells of her life story and what happened to her and her family through the years of 1915-1960 has now been committed to paper.

The effort took Sam Bevan, 28, three years to help his great aunt Desirée type up and collate photographs.

Sam said: “She has led such an interesting life, and we discussed the idea at a family party that we held three years ago. The theme was ‘Chinese New Year’ and she came dressed head to toe in red, as she has always been very glamorous, even in her 90s.

“She mentioned that she had been thinking about writing it for a while, and I encouraged her to do it, and helped her to type it up.”

Called Keep Calm and Dance On, as a reference to her dancing history, details Desirée and her family’s story, about their young life following on from the First World War, and then how they were torn apart by the Second World War.

The book chronicles her time performing with Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA), and her service with the Women in the Air Force (WAF) and details how Desirée met, fell in love with and married an RAF pilot named John Partridge.

Together, they travelled the world, before settling in Silchester.

As Desirée and Sam neared completion of the book, there was a scare when Desirée had a heart attack and a serious attack of pneumonia. However, she made a full recovery to see the project through to the end and is now fighting fit.

Sam added: “It is a really interesting read. Now that the book is done, we are taking a break before possibly doing the next one, there are more family members to talk about.

“It might be made publicly available soon, but at the moment it is more of a personal achievement.”