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A Lady Shoots at Doodlebugs

by threecountiesaction

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Archive List > United Kingdom > London

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Dorothy Rannow
Location of story: 
Northern Ireland, Kent
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
09 December 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Graham Lewis for Three Counties Action on behalf of Mrs Dorothy Rannow and has been added to the site with her permission. Mrs Rannow fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

I joined the ATS in 1941 and remained until 1945. I served in the ATS in Northern Ireland in a heavy anti-aircraft unit — 141 HAA Regiment, 493 Battery. My army number was 89416. Before going to Northern Ireland we were on Clapham Common. A group of us had our photograph in the Daily Sketch at that time. We went to a heavy artillery practice camp at Weybourne in Norfolk.

When the Germans started sending the V1 rockets (the ‘doodlebugs’) over the south of England we were moved from Northern Ireland to Hythe in Kent. We lived in a tented camp, though we did have an Anderson shelter. Our rations were bad. We did not have enough to eat. The bread was mouldy. Our unit was credited with having shot down several rockets. There was an unexploded one by the route which we took to the guns.

I especially liked the friendship and comradeship I found in the ATS. When I went home on leave all my friends were away in the services. Ever since then I kept in touch with my army friends. We regularly visited each other, but I am the only one left now.

I have never forgotten the sound of those rockets. Since those days I have heard it again once at a museum somewhere in Yorkshire.

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