The life of an ATS ‘Ack Ack’ Girl

A member of the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) serving with a 3.7-inch anti-aircraft gun battery, December 1942.

A member of the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) serving with a 3.7-inch anti-aircraft gun battery, December 1942.

A member of the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) serving with a 3.7-inch anti-aircraft gun battery, December 1942. Identified by her son as Sheila Hopwood from Fratton, she later married a Royal Marine and became  Sheila Hutchin.

A member of the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) serving with a 3.7-inch anti-aircraft gun battery, December 1942. Identified by her son William (in 2015) as Sheila Hopwood from Fratton, she later married a Royal Marine and became Sheila Hutchin.

An ATS spotter with binoculars at the anti-aircraft command post. A 3.7 inch anti-aircraft gun can be seen in the background.

An ATS spotter with binoculars at the anti-aircraft command post. A 3.7 inch anti-aircraft gun can be seen in the background.

ATS girls operating the height and range finder.

ATS girls operating the height and range finder.

ATS girls using an identification telescope.

ATS girls using an identification telescope.

Some time during December 1942 the War Office photographers were out with their colour film again. Given the difficulty of their subject matter, including gunfire, they made a pretty impressive job of it.

From 1941 all unmarried women between 20 and 30 years old were called up to join one of the auxiliary services. These were the Auxilliary Territorial Service (ATS), the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS), the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) and the Women’s Transport Service. Later this conscription was extended to some married women. They were not intended to serve in the front line of battle – but for much of the war the front line was indistinguishable from the home front, especially with regard to Anti Aircraft gunnery. 731 women died serving in these Auxilliary units during the war.

Mary Latham was just one of hundreds of thousands of young women who suddenly found their lives completely transformed:

The year was 1942. I was a hairdresser in Chorley, Lancashire. As hairdressing was considered to be a luxury trade in wartime and I was 18 years old, I was given the choice of munitions work or joining one of the forces.

My friend May and I travelled to Preston to sign up in the forces and received the King’s Shilling. Two weeks later we were notified to go to Lancaster. We were met at Preston station by a sergeant, taken to Lancaster and fitted out with our uniforms.

How different my life changed in the next 4 years. We moved from Lancaster to Arborfield, where we did 6 weeks of intensive training all at the double. Each one was assessed for:
* Fitness
* Hearing
* Eyesight
* Nerves (in Ack-Ack action)
It was necessary to pass all the tests.

A battery of 4.5 inch anti-aircraft guns in action at night. In the foreground is an ATS section operating the height finder.

A battery of 4.5 inch anti-aircraft guns in action at night. In the foreground is an ATS section operating the height finder.

Fortunately I passed as a Predictor operator No.3 – which involved looking through a telescope, keeping the target on the horizon line. This demanded steady nerves under gunfire and we needed a lot of practice. At the end of the day, we were mentally and physically exhausted. We lost our voices as all orders were shouted as loudly as possible.

The Predictor team of ATS girls at work.

The Predictor team of ATS girls at work.

The procedure was as follows:

The predictor (Kerry – called after its inventor) [Major A.V. Kerrison at the Admiralty Research Laboratory, Teddington] passed the information we put in on to the guns (3.7) then the gunners fired the shells. We worked in 2 groups – A and B. I was in B group – 5 on the predictor, 3 on height-finding.

Plotters were on duty for 24 hours underground. The plotting room was always ready for any aircraft flying overhead.

Auxiliary Territorial Service plotters at work at 428 Battery, Coast Defence Artillery. The plotting table is covered and a false coastline has been drawn on the cover by the photographer to allow the censor to pass this photograph. Dover, December 1942. (This comes from a different photographic sequence - this was not AA but coastal defence).

Auxiliary Territorial Service plotters at work at 428 Battery, Coast Defence Artillery. The plotting table is covered and a false coastline has been drawn on the cover by the photographer to allow the censor to pass this photograph. Dover, December 1942. (This comes from a different photographic sequence – this was not AA but coastal defence).

We were well looked after with health inoculations every 3 months, regular dental care, F.F.I. (Free From Infection) each Friday.

We (14 girls in each hut) were confined to our billets on Friday nights. We had to clean all our equipment, even to the studs on the bottom of our boots.

After 6 weeks practice in Arborfield, we were sent to Bude in Cornwall. This was our first Gun-Site this was not operational, but it gave us a taste of what was to come.

The only description of the gunfire (4 guns firing in a semi-circle with the predictor 20 yards away) was like hell let loose. However, we got used to it.

Our battery was moved to 36 different sites along the East and South coasts of England.

During our time in Hull we shot down one of our own aircraft (a Wellington). The crew gave us the wrong signal. Fortunately they landed safely – just the tail missing. We were commended for our accurate firing but the crew were not impressed. Hull was badly hit at the time.

At Caister, near Yarmouth, 25 A.T.S.s were killed by machine-gun fire. The enemy aircraft flew over in the early morning at sunrise, when it was impossible to see them and peppered the coast with gun-fire. It was a frightening sight to see Focke Wulfs diving down while we tried to pay our respects, standing to attention during the playing of the Last Post, to those who had been killed.

Read more of Mary Latham’s story on BBC People’s War. See also the experiences of Phyllis as an ATS girl on Ack Ack, and Frank Yates on operating an Anti Aircraft gun.

As mentioned in the comments, if you are able to get to Norfolk in the UK, RAF Langham would be well worth a visit.

A battery of 3.7 inch anti-aircraft guns firing at night.

A battery of 3.7 inch anti-aircraft guns firing at night.

ATS girls working the Kine-Theodolite which photographs the shell burst, thereby checking the results of the Predictor crews.

ATS girls working the Kine-Theodolite which photographs the shell burst, thereby checking the results of the Predictor crews.

ATS Kine-Theodolite operators viewing the developed film taken by the Kine-Theodolite.

ATS Kine-Theodolite operators viewing the developed film taken by the Kine-Theodolite.

{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebecca Wilde August 11, 2016 at 4:30 pm

Standing next to Mary Soames is Joan Francis Manscell, the teams officer. She later moved to Canada, USA and Married. She has one Son. She was marred to her one and only to her passing in 2012, Elk Grove California. Her ashes was spread over the Golden Gate Bridge. Being in the ACK ACK Girls first Unit, gave her a spirt of adventure. Her and her Husband Allan Wilde, traveled world over. Her fondest story is when Prime Minister Winston Churchill, came to inspect the unit and his daughter was upset and did not who. He went to Joan and asked where is his daughter. What my mother in Law told Prime Minister Winston Churchill was quite amusing and it was a bold face lie. But, it worked for Mary Soames! That is why she was the units leader… Rebecca Wilde Elk Grove, Ca http://thefemalesoldier.com/blog/ack-ack-girls

Pat July 2, 2016 at 1:03 pm

Hi, I wondered if anyone can help me. My mom was in the ATS during the WW11, her number was 36470 and stationed I think somewhere in Yorkshire? Her name was Margaret ( Peggy) Dempster born 25th May 1921 she was born in Hull. Any information about her time in the ATS would be much appreciated.. Thanking you.Patsycad47@hotmail.com

Mike Bridgeford June 23, 2016 at 2:31 pm

My Mum, Honora Bridgeford (m.n. Wood), born 2 Oct 1922, joined the ATS in about 1941 and left when she was 3 months pregnant with me – about May 1943. She tells me that her Regiment was 129 and her Battery was 144. She was a on the height finder, and travelled to many placed in England and Scotland doing this job during the war.
I have a picture of her in her uniform, before she married my Dad, and the cap with the ATS badge is quite clear.
She is now 93 years old, and has just relayed all this information to me.
Sadly her two medals (I am not sure which ones they would be) and her cap badge are no longer to be found.
How can I get her medal record, and her war record, if these exist?

Stephen Beat April 5, 2016 at 2:45 pm

My Mother was in ATS Ack-ack. A ‘Gunner Girl’, she worked on Predictors and then on early Radar. She served in Crystal Palace and then in South Shields. She passed away yesterday peacefully.

sharon March 22, 2016 at 3:18 pm

My mom was an ack ack girl From Cinderford Forest of Dean Glos any one who know her Joan P M Robins please email me shanic@metrocast.net daughter Sharon from NH

Charles Beckwith March 20, 2016 at 10:15 pm

My mother was in the ATS, her name was Hilda Rowe, Exeter.

sylvia.gallagher February 17, 2016 at 8:51 pm

my mother was in the ATS and posted to 17th ATS Training centre Warrington in March 1942. Her name was Anne Flora Elizabeth Hart – anyone have any recall?

Jonathan February 15, 2016 at 11:50 am

My late mother, Ann Harrison, died on 26/1/16 and was born on 1/12/20, and served as an ATS officer during the war. She spent time in Shoeburyness and in London as an ak ak gunner. Previously she had studied at The Slade. She was a Junior Commander, though may well have had the non substantive rank of Senior Commander. How can I find out more about her ATS career? Jane Jonathan.

Tamryn Lawrence February 7, 2016 at 9:04 pm

Hello everyone, I’m currently writing a book about the ATS girls who served with Anti-Aircraft Command and would absolutely love to hear from anyone who has stories, diaries, letters, papers, photos or anything relating to the service of their relatives either on the guns or searchlights during WWII. Please do get in contact with me and I can give you more details about the project. Thank you so much and I hope to hear from you soon.
tamrynlawrence[AT]gmail.com

sharon February 2, 2016 at 4:54 pm

My mom was born soudley Glosshire May 30 1921. Joan p m Robins she was an ATS ack-ack girl and she drove the trucks. I do not have any other information about her. If any one knows her she lived in Cinderford Forest of Dean. Glos Thank you her daughter Sharon

John Walker January 22, 2016 at 11:19 pm

My Mum was in the ATS based at or near to Manston Airport, Kent. She was billeted at a convalescent home in Pegwell Village (Now a hotel). Her name was Fiona Mina Roger (Bunty). Her father James Baxter Roger was a Flight Sargent at the same time in Manston.

I believe she was with an AA site near the Ramsgate end of the main runway.

Any history of the ATS at Manston during that period would be appreciated.

Carla Zinkant January 10, 2016 at 8:13 pm

I am looking for information about Joan Yeates she was in the ATS 1942 until 1946, she was on ack ack gun, somewhere in East Anglia. She died last year, I am her daughter and want to make a familly record for my grand children. This is a bit like a bottle thrown into the sea!
cara Zinkant

Lynne January 1, 2016 at 8:42 pm

Mum is 94 she was an ack ack from Manchester was on south coast don’t know unit number she was Joan Sykes she used to sing to entertain think she was on predictor Margaret was the sergeant from scotland

Julie Lanchester-Harding December 28, 2015 at 5:57 pm

Hi
I am looking for information regarding my great aunt who sadly passed away in December this year
Her name was Joyce Lillian Thompkins ( Utteridge when married in 1954 -Newbury )
She was born on 22/10/1922 and served from 1941 to 1946
Army number W207038
I believe she was attached to the Royal Artillery but unsure where she was stationed.
On past conversations she used to tell me that she drove lorries and drove her C O around. She also was very good with horses. We have her service book but incomplete war history,
So in her memory my father and I are doing research (Barrie Leonard William Waite- nephew of Joyce)

Alan Timmins November 28, 2015 at 3:40 pm

My Mum, Sarah Lappin was a Searchlight Operator (I think) in the ATS during the early part of WWII. She did her ATS basic training near Stafford and then worked in Edghill, Liverpool during the Blitz. She met my Dad during this time as he was a Fireman in the Auxiliary Fire Service, also based at (or near) Edghill. Niether of my Parents ever spoke about their experiences of WWII so I guess that they had a bad time.

Carole Smythe November 25, 2015 at 6:00 pm

My mother served in the ATS in V Company in No 4 Camp Longtown in 1944. Her name was Anne Pettet, and she suffered a bad head injury in an accident with a gentleman riding a bicycle. She was hospitalised for some months. I would love to know anything at all about the activities of V Company or indeed Longtown itself during the war as my mother sadly died and I know so little about her days in the ATS.

Mr David Frank Jolly November 16, 2015 at 2:07 am

My mother was called Anne Warburton, she was born in Bolton 31.10.1921.she was a seamstress by profession, and loved to stitch and sew. Anne joined the ATS AKKAK 1940, served in London, Canvey Island Essex, and Bradford West Yorkshire during World War 2. Anne did her duty and had lots of good memories serving with the ATS AKKAK, she enjoyed the NAFFY remember Anne telling me. Anne died March 2009.

Charlotte Johnson November 11, 2015 at 6:19 pm

I am looking to track down anyone who did their ATS training at Newbattle Abbey, Dalkeith during WWII. Here at Newbattle Abbey college we are undertaking a HLF funded project to research that area of our history and are hoping to record the memories of those who were here for their training or had family members who were here.
Anyone wishing to get in contact can email me on charlottejohnson@newbattleabbeycollege.ac.uk
Charlotte Johnson
Project Co-ordinator

Gerri Gray November 11, 2015 at 1:49 am

My mother, Winnifred Edwards-Collins was there, too. She was from Liverpool and a competitor in ballroom dancing before enlistment. She married a Canadian soldier (Calgary Highlanders), Jess Gray. Eventually became a war bride in Canada. My first hero.

Claudia Pilkington November 8, 2015 at 10:44 pm

I was at 478 Battery in Lowestoft from 1941and would like to know if anyone is still alive who was there.

Sharon-Theresa Calvert October 28, 2015 at 12:40 pm

My mum was in the ATS ackack! Unfortunately she was diagnosed with dementia 2 years ago. I have photos of her time 1940-1945. She was Gunner Margaret Trudgill 1065.

James Dumbrill October 23, 2015 at 6:47 pm

I should have added my mothers’ name to my last post – it was Marjorie Wynn.

James Dumbrill October 23, 2015 at 6:15 pm

I am trying to trace any information regarding my mothers’ service in the ATS during WW11. She was serving on ack ack guns protecting London during the early part of the war and I have a photograph of her with others with the notation “608 Btry” but I have no further info regarding others in the photograph possibly including my biological father, name unknown, who is believed to have returned to Canada at the end of the war.

Any help/advice gratefully received.

Tks

Tim Pope October 20, 2015 at 7:07 pm

My mother Mary Margaret Pope was an officer on Ack Ack gunsites around the south east in the approaches to london and some airfields. She has just passed away. Does anyone have any knowledge of her srvice?

Pieter Serrien September 17, 2015 at 11:25 am

Thanks for the interesting article.

As historian and writer I am researching the defense of Belgium against the V1 flying bombs. I am looking for stories of allied men and women who came to Antwerp, Brussels or Liège to defend our country. If you know such a witness story, please contact me:
pieter.serrien@gmail.com

Best wishes,

Pieter

Douglas Hughes September 3, 2015 at 12:20 pm

my mum KATHLEEN BAKER w/14583 was a spotter on the cliffs of dover does anyone remembers her

Glenn Dance July 6, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Hello everyone,

I’m an assistant producer from a UK production company called Arrow Media. We’re producing a new UK TV documentary about the Battle of Britain to commemorate the 75th anniversary. I’m looking to speak to any Ack-Ack gunners who served during the Battle of Britain who would like to talk to me about possible telling their story in our documentary. If a relative of an ack-ack gunner is reading this and would like to get in touch on their behalf I’d love to hear from you also.

Please email glenn.dance@arrowmedia.com or call me on 07925419164

Thank you,

Glenn

Pauline June 26, 2015 at 8:25 pm

My mum (Elsie V Mellor also called Connie or Ginger, because of her red hair) was a Sergeant in the ATS and I have very little information about what she did but she was in No 1 Coy, A.C.A and was in Rome, Aquilla, Cortina and Perugia (Staff college) during 1945 and 1946. Her best friend was Kay (Kathleen) Hewitt who married Bill Mansey after the war, her other friends were Anna Meyer and Brenda Rand – I have photos I am happy to scan and send to them or their relatives. I think she supervised the work of clerks in the Military Government Courts Branch and the Ministry of Justice Branch of the Allied Commission for Austria in 1946, when stationed in Vienna, possibly this was war crime work. Would welcome any ideas for finding out more and filling in the gaps.

Jennifer Kentish June 12, 2015 at 12:54 pm

I have just come across this website while looking for information about my mother, Minnie Wall, who I know was serving in the ATS having joined at the beginning of WW11 after lying about her age (as I know so many did).
I know very little of her experience during this time, only that I believe she was a cook, involved with Heavy Ack-Ack, her best friend was Betty Clark and they were both stationed in Bournemouth at the end of the war where they were demobbed.
I don’t suppose anyone has any information about their Unit, other postings or does anyone even remember them? Sadly they have both now passed.
Many thanks for an interesting website.

Katherine May 12, 2015 at 9:09 pm

My Mum was a member of the ATS I have her cap badge but no info .My mum met my Father while recuperating from a bombing incident and fell in love . Her name was Mary Milnes. the only thing he ever talk about was her experience was that she drove trucks and motorcycles.. I do not have her service number or any other information.
I would love to hear from anyone who might have known her .

Patrick Allen May 12, 2015 at 9:06 am

Recently renovated Dome trainer at Langham in North Norfolk is now open as a visitor attraction. It tells the story of how the Dome was developed for anti-aircraft gunnery simulation and the story of RAF Langham and the squadrons that served here. Many AA gunners passed through the Dome before being allowed to fire live rounds at drones towed by aircraft, or radio controlled aircraft known as Queen Bees, on the coastal ranges at Stiffkey and Weyborne.
If any of your readers trained here we would be delighted to hear from them. Check out our website – http://www.langhamdome.org

Isabelle May 5, 2015 at 5:26 pm

My mother served in the ATS during WW2 serving in Kent, Scotland and outside Antwerp in Belgium. Mum has just told me that she was still on duty looking for enemy aircraft on VE day. My father came to take her into Brussels to celebrate but her officer would not release her from duty as he hadn’t had a direct order to stand down and didn’t officially know the war was over in Europe! There unit had been machine gunned only the day before by a German pilot.

Mum is 94 and still has a good memory. I have only just found this wonderful website & I will ask her to write a contribution with me if you are still looking for information?

Mum also has some photographs (of people not equipment). If anyone knew my mother known as “Mac” – Norah McManus, from Manchester or of my father who she met on radar – he was at that time Major Peter Eggitt REME I would love to make contact with them.

Anne Heath April 3, 2015 at 4:27 pm

My mum was in the ATS joined at commencement of the war and she was a predictor on the ack ack guns. Her maiden name was Doris Gibson, later become Thompson when she married my dad who was in the RAF. She originated from stoke on Trent and later settled in Ellesmere Port in Cheshire. She has a good many photos of her band of friends in the ATS along with a very good memory of her time during the war in the UK and also stationed in Germany. If anybody would like to get in contact please email me especially anybody out there who was in the ATS at this time. She is now 91 years of age.

Barbara Jones March 25, 2015 at 11:54 am

I would love to see any photographs of my mother who served in the ATS during the war. She came from Birkenhead Wirral Merseyside. Her maiden name was Gladys Lindsey. We have no photos of mum as they were lost in a fire and no info as she died fairly young. If anyone can help please get in touch. Thank you.

William Hutchin February 12, 2015 at 6:32 pm

My big sister, before she passed on, said to me to look at the pictures at the museum on the hill and see what I thought. A year or two after, I was visiting Fort Nelson with my god son, and as we approached the Ack-ack gun I was explaining that my Mum was in the ATS and manned one of these on Southsea Seafront, I was taken aback to see a photo of her in full colour. I have since tracked down two images of her, presumably taken on the same occasion, and would love any further information anyone may have. Mum always insisted she had done a bit of “modelling” in her youth! Here is a link to one of those images…
http://www.iwmprints.org.uk/image/744036/malindine-e-g-lt-a-member-of-the-ats-auxiliary-territorial-service-serving-with-a-3-7-inch-anti-aircraft-gun-battery-december-1942

Gerry Elvy February 4, 2015 at 12:02 am

i live in Orillia Ontario Canada and had the pleasure of knowing a man named Ray Williams who had been in a Kine Theodolite group of women in England. He had a bundle of pictures of the girls that were assigned to him. The interesting thing was that he was a Canadian who was sent to England and due to his small stature he only qualified for this type of action. He passed away last year but had some fabulous stories to tell while he was alive. Interestingly enough was that during the building the Avro Arrow the Theodolite was used extensively to determine angle and distance traveled of some of the propulsion rockets to be used in developing the aircraft and the Iroquios engine. I would like to hear from anyone alive that had anything to do with this piece of equipment or the people who were involved with it.

AC January 8, 2015 at 8:45 pm

There is a book written by Vee Robinson on her experiences of serving in the Ack Ack (On Target or Sisters in Arms), which may be of interest to those looking for other first hand accounts.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0951711903/sr=1-1/qid=1420742299/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&qid=1420742299&sr=1-1

If I remember correctly it also includes some pictures.

AC January 8, 2015 at 8:43 pm

There is a book written by Vee Robinson (On Target or Sisters in Arms), on her experiences of serving in the Ack Ack – may be of interest to those of you looking for other first hand accounts

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0951711903/sr=1-1/qid=1420742299/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&qid=1420742299&sr=1-1

If I remember correctly there are some photos in the book as well.

Editor December 30, 2014 at 3:28 pm

@Charlotte

As I say in my FAQ if the details of an image are available I include it in the file information attached to the image. In this case they were from:

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION SECOND WORLD WAR COLOUR TRANSPARENCY COLLECTION
Malindine E G (Lt)
Tanner (Lt)
War Office official photographer

Charlotte December 30, 2014 at 4:47 am

Hello, I am having a hard time believing the full authenticity of these photos. I am far from an expert in this period of history, but the only photographs I have seen from WWII with this level of definition and color accuracy are those that have been restored an colorized by artists like Dave Hall ( http://www.demilked.com/women-at-work-during-ww2-restored-in-color/ ). Do you mind if I ask their origin, or any other details you have that could explain their appearance?

Thank you,
Charlotte

Rebekah November 15, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Hello

im currently at drama school in my 3rd year at the Arden School of Theatre in Manchester. And for our final show we are doing the play ‘The Passing Out Parade’ By Anne Valery which is all about the ATS women during world war 2.

We would LOVE and appreciate if anyone that was involved in this is available to do a Q & A with the cast and also come along to watch our show in December

Look forward to hearing from you

Rebekah

Dan November 11, 2014 at 9:03 pm

“The only description of the gunfire (4 guns firing in a semi-circle with the predictor 20 yards away) was like hell let loose.”

There is an amazing recording on Spotify of a mixed AA battery in action, November 1941. Essential listening for anyone reading this article…

http://open.spotify.com/track/6HUmJNILwkHZzh4fjqB30l

Alan Hall November 10, 2014 at 3:50 am

I have a picture of my mother who was an AK AK from a news article during the war. Margret Anne Eldridge is her name. She is still alive, 93 on Dec 04. I am away from home right now and can look up her regiment and email the particulars later. She is living in Elliot Lake Ontario Canada

Eleri November 4, 2014 at 12:57 am

My mum is 90 in two weeks time.She served in ATS and tells wonderful stories of that time.We are all very proud of her and we are having a 1940s party to honour her birthday.Any photos would be appreciated as I am doing an ATS mural

Duncan McAllister September 20, 2014 at 3:47 pm

My mother, Ivy Gwyneth McAllister served in the ATS with Mary Churchill. There was a newspaper article about Mary Churchill while in Belgium, but I have been spectacularly unsuccessful in tracing; can anyone assist me? I only found out recently about the newspaper article as my mother did not talk about her wartime experiences.

Maud Lane August 22, 2014 at 4:53 am

Thank you for such wonderful photos, I have searched a long time to find a photo of the Barr & Stroud No 10 Height and Range Finder on which I served in 350 HAA Battery in New Eltham, South London. I wanted it to put in my story for my family.
It is so interesting reading the comments and when you come to think of it, the ATS did such a wonderful Job. I am proud to have served with them.

Editor April 17, 2014 at 3:44 pm

See my FAQ about using photos, almost every photo on the website is freely available from Wikimedia Commons.

Kimberly April 17, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Hello,

Lovely photo’s, where did you find them?

Kimberly

Lin Treadgold March 19, 2014 at 1:00 pm

I am an author looking for any information on ATS women in 1940 in Aberystwyth. Mum passed away before I could ask her more about her time, they never talked much about it. My mother was stationed there having moved from Catterick Camp. I am writing a romance novel and have some wonderful letters from my father to his mother when he joined up and eventually became a POW.

I am also interested in the concert parties that may have taken place. Mum was into acting and dancing and she did a lot of performing during her time in Wales with the ATS. Any information for the novel would be useful.
Thanks

claire January 30, 2014 at 9:36 am

We have a photo of my grandmother Caroline Davidson in what appears to be an ATS ack-ack uniform and badge. We hope to find out more information about her and her life during 1944-45. We are also trying to gain some information as to who she may have been friends with male and female during that time. If anyone can help we would be ever so grateful. We have a photo of her in uniform if anyone thinks they might know her.
Thankyou, Claire

Philip OHearn January 30, 2014 at 5:34 am

My mother was in the ATS during the battle of britain and during the buzz bomb period. I have no information on units or anything at all. She married a canadian soldier who was also on the ack ack guns before shipping out to invade sicily with the canadian army. My mothers maiden name was Mary Mckenna and she was from Glasgow. If anyone might be able to help me find out her history in the ATS or perhaps if they can even remember her, then i would be most appreciative.
Sincerly…. Philip O’Hearn

Janet Borgen November 3, 2013 at 7:04 pm

My Mum served in the ATS Auxilary Unit in England from 1940 – 1945….I have a picture of her and the other girls in her unit. Is there anyway that I can find out who the ladies are in the photo.? Mum will be 93 the end of this month….thx Jan

Andrew Wright October 2, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Carol & Peter,
My mother and her sister served with 478 Battery Royal Artillery B Troop Heavy Anti Aircraft. Mother served in Lound nr Lowestoft and Hastings also spent time in Wrexham and Nottingham.My Aunt married one of the men from there Battery who is still with us and one other lady from there Battery. I am also very interested in there history.

Carol Price September 21, 2013 at 2:27 pm

My mother was in the ATS and spent time in Essex and at some point in London (doodlebug Alley). She spent time in a predictor team sending info to the gunners and also did special training before working on radar although I have no idea of her actual role. Her name: Elsie Dorothy Whitwick, if there is any info out there I would appreciate hearing about it.

Editor March 16, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Peter

Thanks for getting in touch. I am afraid I am not much of an expert in that area, I have really concentrated on finding official photographs which are now out of copyright. However somebody else out there may well be able to help.

Do get in touch if you can. Is anyone putting old copies of Picture Post online?

Martin

Peter Curry March 16, 2013 at 7:13 pm

I wonder if you could help me. My mother was with the A.T.S. during ww2 and operated on the height and range finder, her group appeared on the cover of Picture Post and I can’t find the picture anywhere. I am hoping you could tell me were I might be able to find either the magazine or a picture of her. Thank you for your time

Mary January 6, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Incredible pictures. Thank you for posting these.

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