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- People in story:
- Beth Norman-Knight
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- Contributed on:
- 12 November 2003
12 June 1942 my best friend and I set off for war-time service. She wanted to go into the WRENs, I wanted the WAAF, so we chose the ATS!
Initial training, how to march, how to get your uniform to fit you(as near as possible) and various test to ascertain the best place to put you, all this was done at Honiton. Having been told we were picked for RADAR off we went to Devizes. On being first confronted with a radar set I was convinced I would never master everything. However all was revealed and on passing our Trade Test we joined our first battery, then to firing camp on Anglesey for practice firing.
Portland Bill was our next destination - this was where the mud came in. There followed a busy period with plenty of enemy planes to engage, we even shot some down, and were one battery allowed to fire on surface craft as the guns could be lowered sufficiently. It is true to say that the Battery became like an extended family, everyone looking after each other.
Not all mud, we had a concert party, dances and days off in Weymouth to enjoy.
I went to other Batteries in the area, and in January 45 was sent to France after our Battery was disbanded. Being in Holland on the day the germans surrendered was memorable indeed, the Dutch people were so grateful.
After the war ended I became a WRAC and was posted to Singapore for the Korean war, but that's another story.
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