We would all be inclined to run and turn if confronted by an airman 6ft 4in tall armed with a firearm in our backyard.

Evelyn Cardwell, a farmer’s spouse, spotted a German parachuting onto their land following the destruction of Junkers 88 by Hurricane crews in Second World War. She marched toward him and asked him to stop.

Neil Storey, Fiona Kay and Fiona Kay recount the story of the remarkable bravery of the woman in July 1940 that saw her receive an MBE from King George VI. 

The 45-year-old Mrs. Cardwell was 5ft 8in tall and had left her husband. She tried calling the authorities at first when she saw the German soldier flying above her house in Aldborough. However, the phone wouldn’t connect.

Instead she instructed one of her farmhands, to ride his bicycle to alert police. She then got up and walked outside.

According to her, she wore her “fiercest frown” and instructed the man who was not fluent in English to raise his hands.

He is reported to have “smiled wryly” before handing over his weapon. Mrs Cardwell then led him along the road to the nearest police station until soldiers and officers arrived to remove him.

She was the second woman to capture a German pilot during the Second World War.

The Daily Mail published photos of Mrs Cardwell posing and meeting King George VI. Another photo shows the flaming Junkers 88.

Evelyn Cardwell became the first woman to capture a German airman in the Second World War when a Junkers 88 was shot down over her home in Aldborough, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, in July 1940

Evelyn Cardwell was the first female to capture a German pilot in World War II when a Junkers 88 flew over Aldborough in the East Riding of Yorkshire in July 1940.

One of Cardwell’s farm boys had alerted her to the presence of an airman. He was said to have run to Cardwell’s door and told her, “German parachutists coming mam.”

When the Junkers 88 was downed, it had four German crew members. The pilot died, but three other men survived and were able bale out.

The fate of Mr Storey and the two other men after landing is not covered in his book.

As part of her wartime role, Mrs Cardwell was taught to react quickly to emergencies by the Women’s Voluntary Services. She shared her experiences with the British media.

The German had been part of a crew of four in the Junkers 88 when it was shot down. Whilst the pilot was killed, three of the men had been able to bale out. Above: A photo of the wreckage of the plane

When the Junkers 88 was downed, it had four German crew members. Three of the three men were able to escape the wreckage while the pilot died. Above: This is a photo of the wreckage. 

“Here is how you get your Nazi”: A WWII guide published by British newspapers for civilians who are confronted downed pilots

Historian Neil Storey’s book Faces of the Home Front 1939-1945 recounts  how Mrs Cardwell’s experience prompted newspapers including the Aberdeen Express to offer guides for British civilians which told them what to do in the event that they encountered a downed airman. 

One in Aberdeen had the following title: ‘Here’s how to get your Nazi’.

The text read, “How would you command Nazi parachutists or airmen from a crashed plane?”

“If you couldn’t speak German, you would need to limit your gestures to commands.

“But you can make it clear if the following words or passages are understood.

Members of the LDV should find particular value in “Translations with Phonetic Renderings”.

‘STOP: Halt (pronounce ‘a’ as in apple)

‘SURRENDER: Ergeben (ere-gay-ben)

‘DROP THAT GUN: Waffen ablegen (waffen ab-lay-gen)

‘I AM ARMED: Ich bin bewaffnet (eech bin bay-waff-net)

‘PUT YOUR HANDS UP: Hande hoch (henday hoch)

‘OR I’LL FIRE THIS GUN: Sonst schlesse ich (sonst shee-ssey eech)

“KEEP WALKING”: Vowarts without halten (foreverts oney stop-en)

The woman said that a farm man came knocking on my door, and stated that there were some parachutists from Germany.

“I went right to the phone, but it wasn’t working. What did I do? Lady Reading told us that the WVS was to act in an emergency.

“So I raced to the front door, and found a large airman parachute slowly to the floor. His appearance was that he was entering my backyard.

“I was unsure what he was doing so I asked my groom’s little boy to get on his bicycle to report to police.

“But I needed to get something done in the interim.” The airman was limping along the paddock to the house when I went into the yard.

The woman stated that even though there were at least two people out, none of them intervened and she was therefore forced to do the right thing.

I walked up to him and said to him that he should raise his arms. She added that he didn’t fully understand the message until she made gestures and then he raised his arms in the air.

“I pointed to his automatic pistol, which he was carrying, and he smiled at me and gave it to him. His plane was burning half a miles away, and he seemed quite quiet.

“He looked pale and shaking. He walked beside me along the path I believed the military was coming.

“We waited about 30 minutes before soldiers and police arrived, and then we took the pilot away.”

A few short weeks later, King George awarded Mrs Cardwell the MBE for her courage. 

She is seen in this photo curtsying while she shakes hands with him at Hornsea’s hotel.

The story of Mrs Cardwell prompted British media to provide advice to British journalists on dealing with similar circumstances involving German pilots who were shot down.

The book by Mr Storey recounts the story of how the Aberdeen Express provided a guide called “Here’s How To Get Your Nazi”.

The text read, “How would you command Nazi parachutists or airmen from a crashed plane?”

A few weeks later, Mrs Cardwell was rewarded for bravery with the MBE honour from King George. A photo shows her curtseying as she shakes his hand at a hotel in the nearby town of Hornsea

A few weeks later Mrs Cardwell received the MBE honor from King George for her bravery. She is seen in this photo curtsying and shaking his hand as she enters a Hornsea Hotel.

The Daily Mail also covered the news about Mrs Cardwell's daring feat of bravery

It recounted how she put on her 'fiercest frown' as she approached the German

The Daily Mail covered Mrs Cardwell’s bravery and daring feats of courage. She wore the ‘fiercest smile’ when she approached the German, according to The Daily Mail.

“If you couldn’t speak German, you would need to limit your gestures to commands.

“But you can make it clear if the following words or passages are understood.

This provided pronunciation guidance for phrases and words such as’surrender,”stop’, or ‘drop that weapon’.

The story of the woman's incredible bravery in July 1940, which saw her rewarded with an MBE by King George VI, is recounted in Faces of the Home Front 1939-1945, by historians Neil Storey and Fiona Kay

Neil Storey and Fiona Kay tell the tale of the women’s bravery, which earned her an MBE by King George VI in July 1940.