British civilian worked as ambulance driver with Air Raid Precautions and as machine demonstrator in GB, 1939-1945. Relief work with Girl Guides International Service in France, Germany and Austria, 1945-1948
REEL 1 Aspects of family background: family business; father's service in Boer War; death of father during First World War, 1916; memories of father; mother's background. Recollections of life in GB, 1916-1939: financial restrictions after father's death, leisure pursuits; religion; education; opinion of boarding school; school rules and discipline; school hierarchy; question of school fees; school uniform; leisure pursuits; spending year in Switzerland; employment in nursery school on return to GB.
REEL 2 Continues: memories of General Strike, 1926; physical condition of children at Nursery school; memories of Austrian lodger; visit to Vienna; impact of events in Germany on Austria; Nazi sympathies of family she stayed with; return to GB, 1934; attitude towards abdication of Edward VIII; collecting money for peace; visit to World Handcraft exhibition in Berlin, Germany; impressions of Goebbels; return to GB; training as ambulance driver; duties as ambulance driver; preparations for coming war; public attitude to war; involvement with Girl Guide movement.
REEL 3 Continues: running Brownie pack; various positions held within Guide movement. Recollection of life and work, 1939-1945: reaction to outbreak of war; duties driving ambulance; preparations for heavy casualties; lack of air attacks on Darlington; memories of Dunkirk, 1940; joining Aycliffe Royal Ordnance Factory; relations with colleagues; training at Gort Training Centre, Wallsend on Tyne; training as instructor; pay; length of working day.
REEL 4 (interference on reel 4) Continues: description of colleagues; work on lathe; work clothing; move to Croydon to work as demonstrator; duties as machine demonstrator in factories; opinion of trainees; memories of V1 and V2 raids; relations with male colleagues; leave; public morale in London area; memories of French-Canadian and American soldiers; accommodation and food rations.
REEL 5 (interference on reel 5) contacting guides about relief work; work as tool maker, Darlington; leaving factory work; air raid by single German plane on Darlington; attending relief training course, London, 1945. Recollections of work with Girl Guides International Service, France, Germany and Austria, 1945-1948: joining Girl Guides International Service; training; posting to France with GGIS, late 1945; driving trucks to France; arrival in Paris; attitude of French people towards them; move to Alsace Lorraine area; experience of French people under German occupation; driving duties in area; war devastation in area.
REEL 6 Continues: preparations for posting to Germany; appointment as Transport Officer in hospital; transporting Displaced Persons from refugee camps in area to and from hospital; difficulties of driving in war devastated area; German civilians working in hospital; relations with German civilians; living conditions for refugees; birth of baby to refugee woman; story of transporting sick refugee to hospital; work of relief teams in area; description of hospital; accommodation; food rations; flooding in area.
REEL 7 Continues: lack of contact with German people; morale in DP camp; various nationalities of DPs; closure of hospital; move to HQ5 Cobsra (Council of Relief Societies Abroad); social life; appointment as PA to Lady Walker; attending wedding of British NCO and Polish woman; work at HQ5; visiting Mohne Dam in Germany; visiting Bergen-Belsen; story of anti-British speech at Belsen memorial; driving without armed escort; leave; move to Austria to organise Guiding in refugee camps; attitude of Austrian people towards end of German occupation.
REEL 8 Continues: organising Guides in refugee camps; conditions in camps; various relief organisations in Austria; training Guide leaders in Germany; working in American Zone; conditions; opinion of Americans; conditions; return to GB; move to America for another Guiding job.