It took a brave soul to ferry aircraft from factory to frontline during the Second World War, but pilot Jaye Edwards – who died this weekend aged 103 – was just one of those.

Born Stella Joyce Petersen in October 1918, she grew up in Kent as the third daughter of an Australian trader.

An adventurous character, Jaye learnt to fly and received her civilian pilot's licence in September 1939, the day after Britain declared war on Germany.

In July 1943, she joined the Air Transport Auxiliary, an organisation set up at the start of the war to ferried new, repaired and damaged military aircraft between factories and active service squadrons and airfields.

Humorously referred to as ‘Ancient and Tattered Airmen’ as age, fitness, gender and disabilities were ignored, the ATA also had more than 160 female pilots, known as the ‘attagirls’.

In her ATA role, Jaye spent plenty of time in Hatfield, ferrying aircraft such as the Tiger Moth from the de Havilland factory to training and military bases around the UK.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Jaye flew aircraft from the de Havilland factory in Hatfield to airfields across Britain.Jaye flew aircraft from the de Havilland factory in Hatfield to airfields across Britain. (Image: Supplied)

She would also fly bombers as well as the famous Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane fighters, but the work was dangerous, with her injuries including a lost tooth when she hit a tree and crashed during a landing attempt.

Following the D-Day landings in June 1944, Jaye and her fellow ATA pilots were tasked with flying aircraft over the English Channel, to and from frontline bases in France.

Following the conclusion of the Second World War, the ATA was disbanded and Jaye moved to Australia and then Canada, where she met and married electrician and former lumberjack, Bill Edwards. Together they had a son named Neil.

Jaye’s brother, Richard Petersen, remained in the UK though, working at the de Havilland factory in Hatfield until 1961. His son, John, would later marry Margaret Eames-Petersen, who would go on to become Mayor of Hatfield.

Jaye’s family were able to join her in British Columbia, Vancouver, to celebrate her 100th birthday, which included a message from astronaut Chris Hadfield.

She was also part of the 75th anniversary celebration of the ATA in 2020, with the service and those who flew as part of it now being recognised for their efforts during the Second World War.