MOLLY Rose, one of the Spitfire Women who delivered battle-ready planes to Second World War pilots, has died at the age of 95.

Learning to fly in a Tiger Moth in 1937 and gaining her pilots’ licence at the age of 17, she was invited to join the Air Transport Auxiliary in 1942.

The organisation delivered over 309,000 aircraft from factories to the RAF during the war and piloted 486 aircraft and 38 different types, from Spitfires to Wellington bombers.

She delivered 273 Spitfires – and as a result she was known as one of the Spitfire Women.

Born in Cambridge, in 1920, to Maude and David Gregory Marshall, she was the fifth of six daughters and a son, Arthur, who was the oldest child.

Her father, David Marshall, formed what became Marshall of Cambridge, a motor dealership in the first instance and then, through Arthur’s vision in the 1920s of the potential of aircraft, became a major aerospace and defence company and is still based at their airfield in Cambridge.

On leaving school in 1937 Molly joined the family business as an apprentice engineer, working in the hangars and maintaining aircraft engines.

In 1939 she married Bernard Rose who had studied music at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge.

Mr Rose served in tanks in North Africa and Italy and was captured seven days after the D-Day landings on June 13, 1944.

He remained POW camp, Oflag 79 in Germany until May 1945.

After the Second World War Mr and Mrs Rose settled in Oxford where Mr Rose began his academic career in music, first at The Queen's College and then, in 1957 he was appointed Informator Choristarum and a Fellow in music at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was to spend the rest of his distinguished musical career.

He achieved a doctorate in music in 1955.

The couple lived in the village of Bampton from 1946, where their three sons Graham, Gregory and Nigel were born, then in 1964 they moved to Appleton Manor.

Mrs Rose became a magistrate for the Bullingdon circuit in 1952, subsequently becoming chairman of the bench.

She was heavily involved in charity fundraising in the county.

In 1983 she was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the county of Oxfordshire and in 1990 was awarded an OBE for Services to Oxfordshire. She was an active parish councillor for the parish of Appleton-with-Eaton for many years.

In supporting her husband Mrs Rose gained a reputation as a marvellous hostess and there were many music scholars, choral scholars and choristers who enjoyed sumptuous tea parties at Bampton and then Appleton. Another supporting role was that of organising the entertainment and food when the Magdalen College Choir was touring Europe.

In 1986 the couple moved back to Bampton where Dr Rose died in 1996.

Mrs Rose continued to lead a very busy social life.

Like so many who took an active part in the Second World War, Mrs Rose seldom spoke about her flying experiences until quite recently.

However, when interest was shown about those involved in the war, she revelled in taking part in a number of film, TV and media programmes.

One of her notable appearances was in The Great British Menu in 2014 including a D-Day Banquet held in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral when she sat next to former Prime Minister David Cameron.

On September 11 ex-music students, choral scholars and choristers were invited to celebrate what would have been Bernard’s 100th birthday with lunch followed by a concert of music composed by Dr Rose, in St Mary’s Church, Bampton, conducted by Gregory Rose.

Mrs Rose died peacefully on Sunday, October 16 and her Thanksgiving Service will be held on Tuesday, November 1 in St Mary’s Church, Bampton, at 3pm.