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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

The Auxiliary Territorial Service

The ATS, Auxiliary Territorial Service, was the Women's branch of the British Army, they served mainly on the home front in the defense of Britain.

The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website.


  • To commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day, we are launching a new feature, Second World War Day by Day and also a new Library to allow access to records which have previously been held in our offline archive.
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  • We are also looking for volunteers to help with the website. We currently have a huge backlog of submissions which need to be edited for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.

Research your own Family History.

Aug 2015 - Please note we currently have a large backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 223240, your information is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.


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Did you know? We also have a section on The Great War. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.

List of those who served with The Auxiliary Territorial Service during The Second World War

Select a story link or scroll down to browse those stories hosted on this site.

Joan Doreen Jessop

Joan Doreen Jessop ATS

This is my mother, Joan Doreen Jessop in ATS Uniform, taken by Army Photographer at a Beauty Contest held in London during WW2

Her wedding to Dad in 1946.

She married Sgt. Hermanus Koomans (a Dutch Allied serviceman) of the Army's REME, who had recently been repatriated from Belsen POW Camp in Germany. She later went to Holland with him and had 3 children (I was one), but later we migrated to Australia, Holland was just too cold.

Robert Clive Koomans

Private Esie Florence Swift North Company East Lancashire

My mother enrolled in the ATS ON 6.8.1941 and was Embodied 15.8.1941. she spent most of her service in Lancashire:North Company East Lancashire and on her records it shows postings in Clitheroe and Preston.l am researching my mother's whereabouts in Lancashire and her time in the A.T.S (she died in 1966)and would be graeful for anyone who could tell me their War Time experiences in the A.T.S based in Lancashire especially the social life during 1941-1943.Could anyone tell me if Allied Forces were in Lancashire :Americans and Canadians?looking forward to your reply.

Glenis Brenda Burton

Eleanor Hamlin

I have an interesting story regarding my Auntie Queenie, Eleanor Hamlin, who was in the A.T.S.(Auxiliary Territorial Service) throughout the war in spite of being deaf. I have inherited her calling up paper at Blyth, Northumberland, her paybook, discharge papers and medals. She volunteered in August 1939, before the war started, and was called up in October, W/17926. According to her paybook, she didn’t have a medical until 1942 and was given A.W.1! In 1944 she was downgraded to B.W.4. She spent the last two years at Catterick. Her commanding officer was Mrs. Edna M. Sheel of Barking, Essex, and for the last seven months of service, she was her batman. She was very adept at lip reading but couldn’t necessarily hear a telephone or fire bell or air-aid siren. On one occasion she was escorted home on leave to make sure she arrived safely because there was a threat of bombing in Leeds. I have just read Roy Terry’s book, "Women at Khaki", which partially explains what could have happened. Until April 1941, the A.T.S. was a voluntary organisation and her medical occurred as conscription was introduced. One complication is that her pay book is only a certified copy up until 1944. In 1942 she was with the 52nd A.A. and finally discharged from G company, Catterick in October 1945. I would love to know more about her service and if anyone remembers her.

Edward Hamlin

Mary Theresa Brennan

My mother, Mary Theresa Brennan, served in the ATS during World War Two. I am looking for her ATS service number, so that I can apply for further information about her.

Elizabeth Vayro

Elizabeth "Betty" Banks 11th Caithness Company

My Nana, Elizabeth "Betty" Banks, who brought me up, was in the ATS from Feb 1939 until the war ended, Her number was W/9265. She would love to contact anyone who was in her unit or any of the courses she went on as a PT instructor. I'm hoping to get some photos from her that you can put on your website but wondered if anyone could point me in the right direction to get her some information.

The details I have are: 11th Caithness Company, then sent to Orkney for 3 years, then Inverness Cameron Barracks, then Redford Barracks Edinburgh, then became PT instructor and attended courses in Scotland and Durham, Aldershot and Newton Abbot.

Kirsty Bailey

Florence Edith "Flossie" Hamilton

My mother, Florence Edith Hamilton, known as Flossie, served in the A.T.S. at Paisely in Scotland during the war, my father was a prisoner of war in Stalag 5, my mother became pregnant with me whilst serving in the A.T.S in Scotland, I was born in Johnstone Renfrewshire, as I grew up I never knew my biological father, only that he was a Scot and served in The 5th Royal Highlanders and came from Aberdeen, I have a family maybe in Scotland that I would like to know about, if any of my mothers friends of that time can remember anything at all I would greatly appreciate it, my mother and father who bought me up as his own are now both passed away, I think my biologial fathers surname is Knowles, please can anyone throw some light on it for me

Patricia Hamilton

Eithne Swanton (d.21st November 1944)

During the second World War the Allied and German soldiers, who were killed in Goirle, Noord Brabant, the Netherlands and in the neighbourhood, were buried at the Roman Catholic cemetery from the parish St. Jan in Goirle.

I am looking for information about the only women who is buried in Goirle. Her name is EITHNE SWANTON, Auxiliary Territorial Service, service nr. W/297570, age 28 years old, died 21 November 1944.

After the war the remains of the German soldiers were reburied in Ysselsteijn (near Venray) and most of the allied soldiers were reburied in Bergen op Zoom (War Cemetery and Canadian War Cemetery) and in Leopoldsburg (Belgium, War Cemetery).

At this moment there are 27 Allied graves. Every year we commemorate the victims of World War II, both soldiers and civilians. We know their names, but who were the persons behind the names? What were their lives before they died? Where did they come from? How did they die? Under what circumstances?

It is my intention to give the victims a face, to write and keep the story behind the gravestones because we always will remember the soldier who died for our liberty. We can forget names, but not faces. I will try to write down all their stories for the next generation so they will know who was commemorated.

Maybe someone can help me in this matter. Send me a letter or an e-mail with additional information, a photograph or a copy of any personal document, which I can use for The Memory Book or a website.

Thank you in advance for your help

Gerrit Kobes

Dora Stanley

I am looking for anyone who knew my mother, Dora Stanley. She enlisted in the ATS in 1941 in Newcastle Upon Tyne. In 1944 she married Terry Looby, and she left the ATS in 1945. She was stationed in North Shields and Yorkshire.

Any information about her or the ATS in the North of England would be welcomed.

Tracey Crossey

Adelaide Dorcas "Tiny" Axford

My dear Mum, Dorcas Axford was in both the land army and the ATS. She told me many stories when I was a child about those times and I wish I has taken notes so I could pass them on to my son. He absolutely adored her and was heartbroken when she died. Her Mum, my Grandma, Doris Axford ran a boarding house on Wyndham Street in Yoevil Somerset which was frequented by a lot of American service personnel. They all called her "Ma" and used to treat her very special often bringing her food supplies and treats from their base. They would marvel at the tasty meals she was able to make out of those supplies. Many kept in touch as did their families often sending parcels to my Mum and her sisters Ruth and Miriam. I wish I had kept records of those names. One I do remember was Elmer Treese or Treece. I wonder if there are any relations of these service men that remember their loved ones speaking of the Axford family from Yeovil? Also has anyone heard of Waldron Axford from the same family and his wife Kay? Any info would be so appreciated.

Jacqueline Neilson

Elizabeth Ann Mason

My mother, Elizabeth Mason, was in the ATS stationed around Middleton Stoney where she met my father an American Army medic. I have the letters written to her during that time. She came to America on the Queen Mary in either late March early May 1946 with a baby girl. The ship was loaded with war brides.

Jo Eastridge Carman

Pte. Louisa Mary "Molly" St.Quintin

Mary St Quintin, Molly as she was known by everyone was my nanny. During the Second World War she was a member of the ATS working as a lorry driver and also in kitchens on several army bases. One time a bomb went off while she was driving down the road and her lorry got blown into a ditch. On a day off she decided to stay in bed when the air raid siren went off and almost got blown up again, coming through the ordeal with a face full of glass. The third lucky escape was when a bomb was dropped on an army barracks where her group was preparing food for soldiers. But being the tough lady that she was still looked back on those days with thoughts of camaraderie shared with friends who worked alongside her.

The way the war changed my nanny's life most though was a chance meeting on a train. Molly was going home on leave packed into a busy train back to Yarmouth. American Staff Sergeant William James Richardson boarded the same train returning to his base from spending a few days in London. It just so happened that the only spare seat was next to Molly. They struck up a conversation and he wrote down his address on a copy of Life magazine. They kept in touch and arranged to meet whenever they could. In September 1944 they were married and I was lucky enough to call him Grandad. They moved back to America briefly before returning permanently to England, setting sail on the liner De Grasse from New York. Two very wonderful people who were the best Grandparents in the world.

Hazel Smith

Lance Corporal Felicity Joan Edwards B Company A.T.S.

ARBORFIELD 1942-1946

Now that I am 85, and the anniversary of the outbreak of the 2nd. World War is approaching my thoughts return to those years that followed, and to Arborfield, and wonder how many of the men and women I served with there, are still with us today.

I joined the A.T.S. at the age of 18 in 1941 and spent the greater part of my war years at Arborfield as a Cinema Projectionist in charge of training films that were constantly shown via my two 16mm Gebescope projectors. These mainly dealt with the maintenance of the Churchill, Cromwell and Sherman tanks, there was also the Coventry, and the almost obsolete General Lee One of the historic events that took place at Arborfield that I felt very involved in,was the construction of a long water tank with vehicle ramps at both end. This happened just prior to the invasion of Normandy. I received an American film ‘The waterproofing of vehicles’ This I showed constantly during the weeks leading up to the invasion. (Lessons had been learned from the Dieppe disaster) Not only was this film shown to those passing through the various training courses at Arborfield but also to the Canadian officers and men who were camped around us in the surrounding countryside. With their many forms of transport awaiting for that significant day when they would drive onto the beaches of France, without the fear of breaking down with waterlogged engines. At one time I was taken in a waterproofed jeep, down one ramp through the water tank, and up the opposite ramp. I think I was being given a reward for the many hours I spent showing that film. I did not really enjoy it.

Those war years spent at Arborfield are very clear in my memory. I can still see Brigadier Buttonshaw taking the salute at the parade, the day that R.E.M.E. was formed, and must be now one of a very few who were there on that occasion and can still remember it. My cousin has offered to take me on a visit to Arborfield, but I doubt if I would recognise any of it now, except for the water tower, if it is still there. Army legend had it, that it would only fall when a virgin walked past. THE BIRTH OF THE’ROYAL ELECTRICAL MECHANICAL ENGINEERS’ I was posted to the Royal Army Ordinance Corp at Arborfield, Berkshire, in1942 as a Cinema Projectionist to show training films to the Officers and N.C.Os. who were attending one of the 29 week training courses that were being held there, and found myself showing long, and to me, tedious films on the care and maintenance of the Churchill, Sherman and Cromwell tanks, on the 25 pounder gun and on things like the planetary gear train and synromesh transmission and on the recovery of vehicles with a Leyland breakdown lorry. Whenever I found converation lagging in those days, the approved method of getting a Churchill tank out of a shell hole, was always something I could fall back on. I was very conversant on that subject.

I shared an office with a chap called Joe Semp, and Sergeant Major Mann. When I was not showing training films I worked with Joe amending army manuals and pamphlets with out dated text, with stickers that carried new versions. This was a tedious job which was relieved by a sideline when Joe acquired a book of blank leave passes. We had a R.A.O.C. stamp which we used on the books and pamphlets to identify them as the property of the Royal Army Ordinance Corp. Joe and I worked opposite each other at a table between two windows When Sergeant Major Mann left the office, word would get around, and one by one chaps would begin to appear at the window on my side and ask for a leave pass. Ever ready to oblige I would stamp one and pass it across to Joe who would add the necessary officer’s signature and return it to the individual concerned through his window. Joe was very good at supplying a variety of signatures. As most of our customers had to get through main line stations which were laced with Red Caps (military police) forever eager to examine leave passes, they wanted unobtrusive signatures like Captain Simpson or Lieutenant Jones. Others who preferred to live dangerously requested the signature of Field Marshal Montgomery, General Wavel, or even Mickey Mouse. Most of us who lived in London managed to avoid the Red Caps who patrolled the mainline station at Waterloo, by jumping off the train one stop earlier at Vauxhall.

The permanent staff of this R.A.O.C. training establishment had been recruited from a variety of different regiments, as well as from the County regiments with all their proud history. It was not a happy day for Arborfield’s personel when it was decided that a new regiment was to be formed encompassing the whole establishment.

We were to become the Number 1 Training Establishment of the R.E.M.E. and the birth of this new regiment was to take place in the October of that year 1942. This meant that all the well polished cap badges so proudly worn of the former regiments were to be handed in to the stores and exchanged for a very brassy looking new R.E.M.E. badge which was not looked upon kindly. All regimental flashes had to be cut from uniforms. All this created a lot of disenchantment in the camp, and that was not diminished when it was learned that the new regimental march would be a mixture of the well known ‘Lillibularo and the theme music from Walt Disney’s ‘ Snow White and the seven Dwarfs’(Hi Ho, Hi Ho, its off to work we go) That for some was the last straw. We members of B. Company. A.T.S. could only look on and sympathise, while also wearing our new R.E.M.E. badge above the left hand uniform tunic pocket. We were now attached to this new regiment. These are the trivialities that I remember to the run up to the day when the whole camp was assembled on the large parade ground to celebrate the formation of our new regiment, by which time badges looked a little less brassy, and there was confidence and pride in being part of this new elite military establishment.the R.E.M.E. I remember so well marching on to that parade ground to the new regimental march which was being played for the first time. No one dared to catch any one else’s eye when the ‘Hi ho. Hi ho’. bit came in. We were inspected by the very top brass, and watched the R.E.M.E. flag hoisted to the top of the mast head for the very first time. It was a day to remember.

I was at Arborfield towards the end of the war, after a short posting to Derbyshire, and remember those early evenings when we stood and watched while squadron after squadron of ‘flying fortresses’ filled the skies, to take their part in the carpet bombing of Germany. It was the sound of war at its deadliest. The whole camp stood in silence and watched, and not even one small voice asked “What the hell are we doing?” We remembered the defenceless city of Warsaw, our cities like Coventry and Portsmouth. There were many like myself who had endured the relentless bombing of London during the Blitz, and no one said “Has Bomber Harris gone mad?” With the distance of years; and with hindsight it is easy to make moral judgements and to campaign to take down the statue of Bomber Harris erected to honour him and Bomber Command. You really need to have stood where we were standing in our time to understand what the reality of our day was really like. My heart will always go out and embrace the men who served in Bomber Command. Ethics are the luxury for those who have come after us. If there is anyone out there who remembers Arbofield during the war, and who perhaps remembers me as Lance Corporal, F.J. Edwards. A.T.S. please contact me.

Felicity Medland

Ivy Murray

My Grandmother Ivy was based RAF Watford with the ATS, she became pregnant with my mum but said my grandfather died, and will not release any details of my grandfather. If anyone can remember any details regarding Ivy Murray originally from Burnley I would be very grateful. Thanks for reading.

Tracy Harrison

Linda Cockgrave

My mum Linda Cockgrave was a barrage balloon rigger during the War. My Dad served with the Royal Norfolk Regiment.

John Heaton

Barbara Elizabeth Chalkley

My Mum, Barbara Chalkley joined the Women's Land Army in September 1941 and was working on Church Knowle Farm, Nr Corfe Castle, Dorset on 1st October 1941. She stayed with Miss Grace in the little cottage beside the bend in the road as you descend from the Creech hilltop (t'other side of the ridge from Creech Grange). Her sweetheart was Richard (Dicker) Williams who was working in the Intelligence Section, HQ company, 70th Dorsets, Branksome, Dorset, at the time. Unfortunately after three weeks she was 'invalided out', I think with bronchitis. Mum was in later the A.T.S. from January 1943

Mum passed away in 2004 but I am researching her wartime life and would love to hear from anyone who could tell me more about her brief spell in the Land Army.

Dee Stephens

Ruth Brush Heavy Ack Ack att. Royal Artillery

My Mum, Ruth Brush, didn't talk very much about her time in the ATS or Land Army after the war. Nor did my Father talk about his service as a gunner in the Royal Artillery. There was the occasional story of funny things that happened, but very little about their day-to-day lives. Now that they are both gone, I wish I had started writing about them years ago; especially my Mum's story.

My Mum turned 13 just days after the War was declared in 1939. A year later, her 3 younger sisters had already been evacuated to Canada with their Mother. Then, her father "disappeared" she was told that he had gone to Canada to support the family. By now, it was 1941 and Mum was just 14 and living in Coventry at the time. A relative suggested that she join up and, somehow, modified her papers (birth certificate?) to indicate that she was 16. So, at not quite 15, she was in the ATS.

Although she was born in Ireland, she was allowed to wear Canada flashes on her shoulders. I don't know whether it was because she was considered "Canadian" or because her family was in Canada for the duration. The family had moved to Canada in 1928, when Mum was 2 but moved back to England in 1938. At any rate, the British Army trained her and, later, for that reason, wouldn't let her transfer to a Canadian regiment, where she would have been paid more money. Some time in 1941/42, she met my Father, while on KP duty and, in late September 1942, they married in uniform. She had only just turned 16. After this, came the rest of the War, post-war life, separation, reconciliation, rebuilding a marriage, parenthood, and starting over by moving to Canada in the late '50s.

Now that I am in my own later years, I look back on what I have accomplished in my life and realize that my Mum's years in the ATS and Land Army defined her and instilled in me, independence, perseverance, and reliability, among many other fine traits. I only wish I had told her.

Joan Maynard

Ann Theresa "Patsy" McCormick

Ann McCormick was stationed in Orkney during WW2. She got married to my father Thomas Shearer who was from Orkney. He was in the Navy on the minesweepers. Her best friend's name was Nellie. That's all I know. Maybe someone knows the names?


Alma Doreen Brereton

Alma Doreen Brereton is my nan. She passed away just before I turned 8 and I dont have a story to tell as I don't really remember her but I am trying to find her service records from WW2. I can tell you she was born in 1925. Whilst in the army she met my grandad, Gerald Howarth Gannan who was in the RAAF, whom she later married. They had their first child together then set sail for Australia. Nan passed away in 1987.

If anyone could help in any way at all, I would be most grateful.

Kerri Gannan

L/Cpl Shirley Dorothy Ewart 8th A.A. Regiment Auxiliary Territorial Service

After a rather miserable year as a nursing probationer, I decided to join the A.T.S. At the time I was excited. Maybe they would send me to Wales, or even to Scotland. My basic training was at Northampton, the furthest North I had ever been. The next stop was in Bristol where I was trained as a Medical Orderly. My final orders were not, however, to anywhere I considered particularly exciting. I was being posted as Medical Orderly to an all-women A.A. gunsite on the Fal River in Cornwall. This was not far from St. Ives where I'd spent many summer holidays. I was quite disappointed. However, Falmouth was quite busy and the hub of the activity was right there on the Fal. It was shortly before the invasion and a great many ships from the U.S. Navy were lined up along the river bank.

The A.T.S. barracks was, as I remember, just one Nissen hut. Another hut served as the Medical Inspection (M.I.) room. Our Sergeant was Dolly Wallis from Sithney in Cornwall. Most of the other girls were from Scotland or the northern counties. Sadly, I don't remember the names of anyone else but they were a warm, friendly group. I do remember our Medical Officer who was also from the north.

I don't remember how I met my husband. He was in the U.S. Coast Guard and was Executive Officer of one of the Coast Guard Landing Ships. Two years later we were married and I was discharged from the army on compassionate grounds. It amused me somewhat that, when I applied for a passport to go to the United States, I discovered that I was not a British subject. I had been born in China and my father, who had been educated in England and who had served during WWI in India, was at the time of my birth still legally Austrian. So, I entered the U.S. with a paper describing me as "a British Protected Person". Since the war was still on, I hoped our trans-atlantic crossing would be peaceful.

I am sorry I can't remember any more names, but I am 89 years old so that might be forgiven.

Shirley Ewart

Sergeant Audrey Allan

Audrey Allan

My grandmother, Audrey Allan (Miller), passed away this past October at the age of 90. She served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, reaching the rank of Sergeant (Section Leader), at least until 1942 and perhaps into 1943; I know she was in a mixed-gender anti-aircraft battery and manned a radio, sending verbal IFF's (identification, friend or foe) to inbound aircraft. I don't know which unit(s) she served with, but perhaps the "St. Anne's-on-Sea" note on the back of one of the pictures will provide some information should anyone seek it.

Darren Miller

Gnr. Agnes Inverarrity Whyte 455 Battery Royal Artillery

We are looking on information on my husbands mother, Agnes Whyte. We know nothing apart from that she was based at Redcar.

Maureen Taylor

Rosalie Gladys Tyler

My aunt Rosalie Gladys Tyler and my mother, Ivy Tyler both, joined the A.T.S. from their home in Potters Bar, Middlesex, now Hertfordshire. While traveling to Scotland to visit their brother, who was in hospital there suffering from Malaria caught in the Desert while serving with the Army, they met two young Air Force chaps. One was my father, Charlie Lancashire, from Edinburgh.

As my Aunt and my mum have both passed away I cannot supply more information. If anyone remembers any of the above I would love to hear from them.

Angela Lownie

Cpl. Mary Joan Leatt

My mum, Mary Joan Leatt, served in the ATS between the years of 1940 and 1945. She was based in Macclesfield and London and served on the first radar. We are tracing her history at the moment and would appreciate any information anyone can provide.

Les Denman

Jean Abram

My mother, Jean Abram, was in the ATS and stationed at Nottingham. She was married while she was there in March 1945 and became Jean Mietta. Her husband Nick was with the American Army at that time and also stationed there. My aunt Katherine Molloy was also stationed there. I am interested in any information I can get about the ATS and what they did while they were enlisted.

Margaret Collins

Ivy "Pat" Tyler

My mother, Ivy Tyler and her sister Rosalie Gladys Tyler both, joined the A.T.S. from their home in Potters Bar, Middlesex, now Hertfordshire. My mother was called "Pat" because there was another "Ivy" in their room. During her service she contacted Diptheria and had to undergo treatment. Her leg was affected, however she recovered with no ill affects.

While traveling to Scotland to visit their brother, who was in hospital there suffering from Malaria caught in the Desert while serving with the Army, they met two young Air Force chaps. One was my father, Charlie Lancashire, from Edinburgh. They married in Edinburgh on 1st April 1944.

As my Aunt and my Mum have both passed away I cannot supply more information. If anyone remembers any of the above I would love to hear from them.

Angela Lownie

Margaret Crawford

My mam, known then as Margaret Crawford, from Sunderland served in the ATS during WW2. She was stationed in Edinburgh, she had a best friend Babs Jennings. I have just found out she gave birth to a daughter and that the baby was brought up by her grandparents. I now have a sister I don't know where or when she was born. I would love any information.

Christina Wardle

Marjorie Katherine "Mardie" Price MID Canadian

My mother, Marjorie Price was the daughter of General Charles Basil Price. She served the entire war with the ATS and was married in Aldershot Garrison Church, Aldershot, England in September 1942? to Arthur Allen (Tim) Hugman who was with the 17th Duke of York, Royal Canadian Hussars. She was married with full military colours which I gather was unusual at the time.

She was awarded quite highly and mentioned in dispatches for her life-saving efforts at the bombing of the Cafe de Paris in London. Her shoes hurt so she was escorted off the dance floor just as the bomb hit. I don't have much more information. She was a driver and mentioned several times how dark and frightening it was waiting all hours at night for her charge. I would love to hear any more info on her.

Kat MacLeod

Joan Llewella Bamford

My Mum, Joan Bamford, served in the ATS, she received her ATS service badge and was thrilled with it, she wore it with such pride. She met my Dad, Bill Carter, when he was a Bevin Boy and they had 53 years of marriage.

Annette Carter

Sen.Cmdr.ATS. Naomi Walford Auxiliary Territorial Service

Naomi Walford is a distant cousin of my wife. We have found a citation given by the People of Norway for Naomi's work during the war. We think she may have worked for the translating service, as we have found books that were translated by a Naomi Walford from many foreign publications, in the years after the war. We would just like a little more information about Naomi and her life please.

Brian Meek

Pte. Joyce Sadler 904 AA (M) Transport Coy Royal Army Service Corps

In Uniform (coloured by her son)

Joyce Saddler served with 904 AA (M) Transport Coy RASC She enlisted at Manchester on 30/3/1942 giving her trade on enlistment as Theatrical

My mother was born 30th Jan 1920 at Salford, Lancs. From 1939 she was employed in the theatrical trade as a dancer/singer and was a regular member of a troupe that toured around the country. On the 16th of April 1941 she had been performing a matinee at the Rex theatre in High Wycombe with the star of the show Al Bowlly, with whom she was great friends, at the close of the matinee she was asked by the theatre management if she would stay for the evening show to replace one of the other girls who had called in sick. Although arrangements had been made to join Al Bowlly at his residence in Dukes court, Piccadilly my mother decided to remain at the theatre for the evening show. Al Bowlly however was killed that night when a German land mine exploded next to his residence killing him instantly.

Though I never asked if this was the reason she enlisted I am sure it must have had some bearing on her decision. Her Service Book records she was awarded her Service Chevron to drive 3 ton army transport vehicles and later awarded 'Skill at arms badge', she was discharged on the 14th Oct 1945.

She eventually emigrated to Western Australia where she died on the 1st Oct 1977.

Mike Sadler

This is a photo of my beautiful mother, who we sadly lost to cancer recently at the age of 77.

Her name was Catherine Ferguson Woodford (nee Hickie) and she came from Cambuslang, Scotland. she was in the ATS, stationed in Edinburgh, also in Leeds for a while I believe, then in London

We miss her sorely.

I am researching an aircrash which happened in Richmond Yorkshire in December 1942. Oral history tells of an ATS driver who was probably first on the scene. She tried to rescue the crew from the burning wreckage and was badly burned herself. For her valliant efforts she apparantly received an award. The only other detail I have is that she was in Bristol at the time of the blitz there, probably as an ambulance driver. She was posted to this quiet area of North Yorkshire to enable her to recover from the trauma only to be involved in this rescue attempt. Any information regarding this gallant ATS lass or the event itself would be most welcome.

Richmond and Dist Civic Society.

Does anyone remember Vera? On the back of the Photograph it says to Jimmy from Vera.

Royal Artillery 137 Regiment, Heavy Artillery,
481 Battery

My mother, Eva Everitt, (nee Scoles), joined the Royal Artillery ( 137 Regiment, Heavy Artillery,481 Battery ) in August 1941.

She was at various training camps including those at Northampton, Anglesey, Bude and Oswestry. Her first posting was to London, where her Battery was located in Hyde Park. The Battery operated 3.7" Anti-Aircraft Guns. Her job was on the Sperry Predictors.

After the Blitz the battery was moved to Hastings to help counter the V1's.

Some time after D-Day she went first to Belgium and then to Germany. Returning home after VE day she was de-mobbed in Jan 1946.

Some of the people she remembers are Kath Parker, Phyllis Spalding, Violet Eastwood and Eileen Broady. Three others were Joan,Vera and Mary but she cannot remember their surnames

My mother is back left

Phillip Everitt.

Violette Szabo, George Cross, Croix de Guerre with Star served in the Women's Land Army, ATS, FANY. She also worked in the Moreden/Acton aircraft factory, and was in the 481 (Heavy) Ack-Ack Battery under Colonel 'Jim' Naylor. She worked for SOE in France. Violette was executed in late January - early February 1945 after having been thrown into Ravensbruck concentration camp and others.

If you knew her, or anyone who knew her, it would be wonderful if you would contact me. She was my mother.

My Mother Ivy Iris Elieen "Bunty" Baxter was a dispatch rider in the ATS. She enrolled at Droitwich and was assigned to the 8th AA MT Company ATS of 160 (M) HAA Royal Artillery. Her job was to deliver documents to various anti-aircraft sites and to accompany services VIP cars.

One day Private Barham was sent alone to Portsmouth (from the London Area) to escort a high ranking Officer who was in charge of the Anti-aircraft defences in the South East. Apparently when they met up she took off her dispatch rider's helmet, causing the Officer to exclaim "...Blimey -a woman !!!!"

Another memorable incident was when she experienced liquid mustard gas.

On another occassion she guided the O.I.C. of the Anti-aircraft Batteries defending London from Southampton to London in dense fog. The reason for his visit was to present the A.A. Battery to which she was attached with the tail rudder from a Heinkel Bomber. Apparently the Battery shot it down from the highest altitude ever achieved up till that time.

She was also taught to drive a jeep.... and told to back the jeep into a garage. The Sergeant who was instructing told her he was off to make the char and despite a request for help to guide her in, he went off.... The jeep was almost in the garage when there was a loud crash ....she had backed into a large searchlight mirror smashing it into little pieces. The result was being hauled up in front of the CIO, a fine and confined to barracks for some time. I believe she still thought it unfair to the day she died.

Tony Barham

ATS Guildford and Camerley

My memories are of the Gloustershire Regiment and others. I was 12 years old when the War was declared. At 17 1/2 years I volunteered for the ATS. My parents turned over accomodation to the army at the onset. The RSM's and CSM's were billeted with us at the Union Hotel at Newton Abbot. I would be interested to hear from those who have memories of these locations and times. Also, anyone involved with the Newton Abbott Youth Council and or the St. John Ambulance Nursing Cadets. I left England in 1956 and now live in Canada.


Betty Lewis

Betty Lewis, this photo was sent to her brother Ron, a driver in the Royal Signals, who was a Prisoner of War in Oflag 79. He mounted it in his "Wartime Log For British Prisoners" which supplied as a gift from the YMCA Switzerland. Read his story

Girls Behind the Guns: With the Auxiliary Territorial Service in World War II

Dorothy Brewer Kerr

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Debs at War: 1939-45

Ann de Courcy

an amazing book. It contains the lives of real women who went from living in unbelievable luxury (or not in the case of some - grand homes and titles did not automatically mean luxury) to how they played their parts in the war, often in menial, dirty, usually risky if not downright dangerous jobs. All because their fathers, brothers and all the young men they knew were doing their bit - so the girls were going to make damned sure they did their bit too. Diaries and interviews are quoted - this book goes from childhoods through to the Debs seasons, call up (more usually volunteering), the various jobs they did; all the while trying to keep in touch with their friends and boyfriends. Terribly innocent about sex, lesbianism, childbirth, cooking, they went from filthy jobs to eating at the Ritz - often still in uniform or overalls. To say that I am impressed by what they did is a total understatement. I really don't know whether we would meet our country's need in such a way today.

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British Women's Uniforms in Colour Photographs (World War 2)

Martin Brayley & Richard Ingham

This reference book contains the uniforms of the women's services during World War II. Nearly 200 colour photographs of rare, original uniforms from private collections are featured with detailed explanatory text. This really is an extraordinarily good book if you're looking for details of women's uniforms from the WWII period. Every page has a large, clear photograph of a uniform (worn by a modern model, but with 40s styling), plus detail shots of shoes, insignia, berets and so on.

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The 1940s Look: Recreating the Fashions, Hairstyles and Make-up of the Second World War

Mike Brown

"The 1940s Look" tells you everything you need to know about the fashions of wartime Britain and the impact that rationing, the Utility scheme, changing tastes and the demands of everyday life had on the styles people wore. People had to 'Make Do and Mend' - with varying degrees of ingenuity and success. Hair styles, glasses, jewellery, and tattoos were essential in creating your own fashion statement. Women's magazines advised readers on the difficulties of dressing growing children, offered instructions for making clothes and accessories, and hosted debate over whether by dressing up, women were helping or hindering the war effort. Thoroughly researched and lavishly illustrated, "The 1940s Look" tells you how civilian men, women and children dressed - and why they looked the way they did during the Second World War. It draws on contemporary sources including government advice, periodicals and books, and benefits from an entertaining narrative by author Mike Brown.

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Voices of The Codebreakers: Personal Accounts of the Secret Heroes of World War II

Michael Paterson

a comprehensive look at the undercover war, revealing just how much of WWII was won away from the battlefields and how each side desperately tried to get into the 'mind set' of their enemies' code makers.From the British cryptologists to the Navajo Indians whose codes helped win the war against Japan, this book reveals the stories of extraordinary people and their chance finds, lucky accidents, dogged determination and moments of sheer brilliance, to expose how the war was really won.It includes an intriguing glimpse of the early history of the computer - its spectacular uses and subsequent development. It features vivid first-hand accounts from the staff of Bletchley Park, French and Dutch resistance fighters, the American secret agents and members of the Services Liaison Unit who passed on vital coded information to field commanders. It also includes a 16 page plate section with rare archive photographs.

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Wartime: Britain 1939-1945

Dr Juliet Gardiner

Juliet Gardiner's 'Wartime' provides a marvellously rich, and often entertaining, recreation of life on the Home Front, 1939-45, drawing on an enormous range of oral testimony and memoir.

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Girls in Khaki: A History of the ATS in the Second World War

Barbara Green

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Sergeant: A World War II Account of a Young Village Choir Girl to a Responsible Position in the ATS

Elsie M. Crossley

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