British aircraftwoman served with Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and Women’s Royal Air Force in GB and Singapore, 1946-1951; civilian worked for Women’s Voluntary Service and Women’s Royal Voluntary Service in GB, Egypt, Northern Ireland, Malaya, Singapore, Germany, Hong Kong and Belize, 1951-2002
REEL 1: Background in Liverpool, GB: family; paper round; evacuated to South Wales with brothers; educated at local school; learned Welsh; returned home because of skin disease; joined Women’s Junior Air Corps, age 14; studied at commercial school for short hand typing and bookkeeping. Aspects of period with Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and Women’s Royal Air Force in GB and Singapore, 1946-1951: posted to administration section of Combined Operations in Ermine Street, London; posted to RAF Stanmore; sporting activities; played bugle in Women’s Auxiliary Air Force band; posted to Singapore; discharged and returned to GB; volunteered to work for Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS) in Singapore; duties organizing social activities; problem of being too young to join WVS; interviewed by Lady Reading and appointed Services Welfare Officer; youngest member of WVS. Aspects of period with WVS in GB and Egypt, 1951: training; etiquette in mess; worked in London prison and at Tower of London; delivered meals on wheels to elderly residents; sent to Suez Canal Zone, Egypt; daily routine and duties; welfare work with servicemen; story of funeral for paratroopers; social life in Cairo. Aspects of period with WVS in Northern Ireland, Malaya, Singapore and Germany: based in Londonderry, Northern Ireland; visited troops in hospital; attitude to working in dangerous environment; story of visit to army camp.
REEL 2 Continues: awarded Northern Ireland medal; security precautions; description of duties at RAF Butterworth, Malaya; story of flying back to GB with wounded from HMS Amethyst; comparison of working for RAF and Army; attitude to only receiving expenses for work with WVS; Women’s Voluntary Service renamed Women’s Royal Voluntary Service, 1966 ; further tour of duty in Northern Ireland, 1976; welfare visits to troops in Londonderry and out stations; security measures; worked in local hospital; welfare work with soldiers in Germany; story of counseling soldier before court martial.
REEL 3 Continues: Aspects of period with Women’s Royal Voluntary Service in Hong Kong and Belize, 1982-1994: welfare work with wives and families of Gurkha battalion based in Hong Kong; arranged recreational and social events; story of boy with encephalitis; opinion of treatment of Gurkhas by British Government; welfare work with soldiers in Belize; description of accommodation; problem of heat; transport by helicopter into jungle; duties including doing shopping for soldiers and buying cards and presents for families; set up welfare club; worked with padres; only welfare officer working in Belize; amusing story of air conditioning.
REEL 4 Continues: description of camp; story of snake in shower; hospital visits; story of soldier being bitten by pet snake; problem of workload and help from officer’s wife; story of providing videos and bottles of rum for soldiers; organization of social events; story of soldier trying to get into room; question of relationships with soldiers; attitude of soldiers to role of WRVS. Aspects of period with Women’s Royal Voluntary Service in GB, 1994-2002: description of welfare work at training establishments including Purbright; problem of homesickness among recruits; attitude of NCOs to WRVS; type of welfare problems encountered.
REEL 5 Continues: nature of duties at Deepcut Barracks; relations with senior officers; welfare support for male and female Commonwealth troops; question of sexual harassment of female soldiers; attitude to voluntary work and question of being paid; commendations; number of welfare officers working for WRVS; question of recognition for work of WRVS.