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Women in Uniform

Over thirty years ago, I submitted my undergraduate history thesis on the topic of Women in Uniform in World War II. Forty years before that, my mother and aunt were among those women in uniform.

I grew up listening to stories about the war. My Nana guided a group of evacuees from London to Bedfordshire. Among the children were her own daughters Eileen and Joan. They settled into a village that was surrounded by air fields. My grandfather was an RAF sergeant serving in the Middle East. Nana took a job as a telephone operator in a factory. Her mother and sister stayed behind in London until the house was bombed. Then they moved into the small cottage with Nana and the girls.

When Eileen (my aunt) was old enough, she joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS). She trained as a driver/mechanic and drove ambulances. She was one of the drivers transporting the wounded to inland hospitals after D-Day. She inspired my choice of topic for my history thesis. She was able to put me in touc…

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