British nurse with Voluntary Aid Service and Auxiliary Nursing Service in India and Iraq, 1940-1943; private, NCO and officer served with Women’s Auxiliary Service (Burma) in India and Burma, 1/1944-8/1945
REEL 1 Background in India and GB, 1920-1939: family; education; question of incorrect image of colonisation; memories of being presented to Viceroy of India, 2nd Marquess of Linlithgow in India,1937; attitude towards education in GB and India; witnessing social disturbances in India; reaction to outbreak of Second World War, 3/9/1939. Recollections of period as nurse with Voluntary Aid Service and Auxiliary Nursing Service in India and Iraq, 1940-1943: prior nursing training at Bangalore General Hospital, 1940; training and work in British Military Hospital, Colaba, Bombay; treating Italian POWs; posting to Iraq; arrival in Shuaiba Camp, Basra, Iraq; description of hospital in Shuaiba Camp, Basra, Iraq; move to and description of 25th Combined Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq.
REEL 2 Continues: impressions of Iraqi society; illness and return to India, 11/1942; decision to resign from Voluntary Aid Service; work after resignation from Auxiliary Nursing Service with HMS Garuda, Royal Naval Air Station Coimbatore, 1943. Recollections of period as private, NCO and officer with Women’s Auxiliary Service (Burma) in India and Burma, 1/1944-6/1945: hearing of and recruitment to Women’s Auxiliary Service (Burma), 1/1944; background to formation of Women’s Auxiliary Service (Burma); uniform worn; training on hill station at Shillong, India; description of static and mobile canteens; items sold in canteens; incident with West African soldier entering her basha shelter; obtaining supplies from Canteen Bulk Issue Depots (CBID); move to Chittagong, India, 4/1944; use of drivers; move to Dohazari, India; awareness of battles in Arakan.
REEL 3 Continues: arrival of troops who had participated in Battle of Admin Box; living conditions at Dohazari on River Sangu; Indian servants; question of rank; memories of Nin Taylor and Grace Tucker; responsibility of running canteen; visiting small islands recently vacated by Japanese; taking mobile canteen into jungle areas; discovery of tinned fruit during trip down to Buthidaung, Burma; state of troops; story of collapse of bridge over River Sangu during monsoon; coping with monsoon weather; description of supply of rations; marriage, 6/1945; social life; story of how Noel Coward failed to turn up for dinner that unit had organised for him.
REEL 4 Continues: popular wartime songs; Christmas celebrations, 25/12/1944; meeting with Chindits returned from Burma; contact with American troops; story of first meeting future husband Robin Wright, 11/1944 and second meeting on Ramree Island, 4/1945; her invaliding back to India and marriage, 6/1945; impact of war on relationships; elements of husband’s military service in Burma; hearing news of atomic bombs being dropped on Japan in Madras, India, 8/1945; husband’s participation in Operation Zipper, 8/1945 and later service in India.
REEL 5 Continues: attitude towards service with and contribution of Women’s Auxiliary Service (Burma); attitude towards senior military officers. Aspects of period as civilian in India, 1945-1947: attitude towards Participation; relations between different ethnic groups in India; attitude to husband’s later postings to Libya, Egypt and Malaya, 1948-1959; story of how architect grandfather Henry Irwin is remembered in India