British wren served with Women's Royal Naval Service in GB and North West Europe, 1942-1946
REEL 1 Background in London, 1923-1939: family; education. Aspects of period as civilian in Home Counties, GB, 1939-1942: attitude to not being able to actively participate in war; stepfather's recall into Army; sight of aerial activities during Battle of Britain, 1940; reaction of cinema audiences to films on London Blitz; employment; wish to join Women's Royal Naval Service; public attitude towards Royal Navy. Recollections of enlistment and training with Women's Royal Naval Service in GB, 1942: interview; attitude towards medical; posting to Portsmouth for training, 1/1942; attitude towards training overalls; attitude of recruits towards leaving home; training; behaviour of Wrens in charge of recruits.
REEL 2 Continues: contracting pleurisy; physical training; interview for posting; issue of uniform; gas training. Recollections of period as messenger at Marshall Soult Headquarters in Porstmouth, GB, 1942: warships in dockyard; duties as messenger; relations with Royal Navy colleagues and her commanding officer; air raids; attitude of Royal Navy personnel towards dockyard workers; behaviour of Royal Navy seamen towards Wrens; social life; question of women's safety. Recollections of period on general duties at Submarine Headquarters, HMS Pembroke IV, Swiss Cottage, London, GB, 1942-1943: attitude towards leaving Portsmouth; duties; psychological problems of submariners posting to HMS Pembroke IV; attitude towards duties.
REEL 3 Continues: drafting away from HMS Pembroke IV Recollections of period as messenger at Norfolk House, London, GB, 1943-1944: posting, 5/1943; messenger duties; duties handling and registering Most Secret Files; importance of Women's Royal Naval Service personnel's work at Norfolk House; security regarding secret files; length of working day; attempts of Admiral Bertram Ramsay to regulate Wrens working hours; medical problems due to overwork; social life Recollections of period as wren at HMS Dryad, Southwick Park, GB, 1944: posting, 3/1944.
REEL 4 Continues: air raids; planning for D-Day; increase in activity 6/1944; exhaustion of staff after D-Day; visit to Mulberry harbour at Selsey prior to D-Day landings; security at headquarters. Recollections of period with Women's Royal Naval Service in France, 1944-1945: journey; arrival; base at Granville, Normandy; living conditions; attachment to SHAEF and move to St Germain-en-Laye, autumn, 1944; living conditions; death of Admiral Bertram Ramsay in air crash and subsequent funeral; attitude towards new American Admiral.
REEL 5 Continues: attitude of French civilians towards Wrens; social life; VE Day celebrations, 5/1945; attitude towards treatment of French collaborators; US Army food rations; socialising with American soldiers; attitude of Royal Navy and US personnel towards Wrens. Recollections of period as wren with Women's Royal Naval Service in Germany, 1945: journey from France to Germany via Netherlands; location of headquarets at Minden; attitude towards German civilians; contrast between male and female attitudes towards work; attitude towards commission; move to Berlin; living conditions at Grünewald Headquarters; social life.
REEL 6 Continues: presence of natural father in Berlin and his arrest for alleged fraternisation. Demobilisation, 1946. Work of US personnel at Norfolk House and work of despatch department of registry.