Private Papers of 3rd Officer J M Bosdet WRNS

Catalogue number
  • Documents.20060
Subject period
  • whole: 2 Boxes
private papers

History note

Cataloguer AC

Content description

Circa 420 amusing and very detailed ms and ts letters to her parents in North London and to a work colleague (some incomplete, some duplicated material and many undated) written principally during her service initially as a Writer Wren, then as a Meteorology Wren, ultimately as a 3/O WRNS (August 1943 - 1945) based: in Lowestoft in HMS EUROPA (July 1941 - June 1942), with interesting details of life as a Wren and of off duty visits and activities (especially Forces entertainment) as well as good descriptions of air raids on the town with a sketch plan (see 13 January 1942) and references to casualties including Wrens killed and her own shrapnel injury (August 1941 - February 1942); near Dunfermline in HMS MERLIN (RNAS Donibristle, see also two photographs) (July - October 1942), with references to her duties and training in meteorology and detailed descriptions of HMS SPARROWHAWK (RNAS Hatston) in the Orkneys, where she was also briefly based, of a flight aborted due to carbon monoxide poisoning (4 August), and of her visits to local towns and cities; in Dover (October 1942 - June 1943), with an undated sketch and good references to conditions in the Castle, where she worked, air raids (December 1942 - May 1943) and her hospitalisation with diphtheria as well as to off duty activities teaching geography to service personnel and rehearsing a Christmas pantomime, and to her former membership of the British Union of Fascists, 1934 - 1937 (see 13 February 1943); at Greenwich (June - August 1943) on an OTC and later doing a meteorology course with an excellent description of conditions there; briefly near Preston (September 1943) in HMS NIGHTJAR (RNAS Inskip); near Portsmouth (October 1943 - June 1945) in RNAS Lee-on-Solent ultimately as Assistant to the Staff Meteorology Officer and also as amenities officer with useful references to duties and quarters, mention of the forthcoming second front and the V Weapon campaigns, a description of the funeral of Vice Admiral F H Pegram (March 1944) and details of food shortages and work relationships; together with poems, a WRNS magazine, circa 60 picture postcards (many of them annotated) principally of places where she was stationed, 13 ts letters from her elder brother, an officer in the Merchant Navy (November 1939 - April 1940), mainly about personal and domestic matters, and circa 75 ms and ts letters (and 12 annotated picture postcards of Mawgan Porth, Cornwall) from an architect colleague (and his family) (July 1941 - July 1944) with references to a shared interest in literature, films and politics and to his work concerning war damage claims and air raid shelters, Home Guard duties at Penn, Buckinghamshire, and Company Headquarters Intelligence at Beaconsfield and, after entering the RAF, to his duties as Foreman of Trade in charge of runways, RAF St Eval.

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