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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Contributed by 
Wolverhampton Libraries & Archives
People in story: 
Susan Hannaway
Location of story: 
Wrexham, Isle Of Man and Harrogate
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
13 April 2005

I volunteered my services in 1942. I was sent to Wrexham for one month, this was for induction training. Upon completion of this training I was sent to the Isle of Man for Morse Code training. I was selected for Morse Code training because I had learnt German at school. The training was very intense, during the training we were taught how to use four different wireless receivers. The Morse Code itself was taught in blocks six, letters or numbers.
After completing my training I was posted to Harrogate, Yorkshire. Along with the other trainees I lived in Nissen huts in the grounds of a girls school. We had bunk beds to sleep in and stone hot water bottles to keep us warm.
We were transported to work at the radio station in trucks, still to this day I do not know where I worked as we were transported in secret. We would work in rolling shifts, with one and a half days off in every four days. At the start I was given a particular frequency to scan, as I became more experienced in my work I was allowed to scan the airwaves for messages. The majority of the work was routine and I would write the messages in pencil onto a square note pad in block letters. If a message came through that I thought might be urgent or very important I would write the message and pass it straight to my supervisor. Towards the end of the war we knew that the enemy was on the run as the messages started to come through in what we called “plain language”.
I worked until near the end of the war, the beginning of 1945.

[This story was submitted to the People's War site by Wolverhampton Libraries on behalf of Susan Hannaway and has been added to the site with her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions]

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Special Operations and Intelligence Category
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