- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Edith Pitt
- Location of story:
- Coltishall, Norwich and Camberly, Surrey
- Background to story:
- Civilian Force
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 14 December 2004
This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Andrea Brown of Congleton Library on behalf of Edith Pitt and has been added to the site with her permission. The author fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.
I was called up into the ATS at the age of 21. Though just married my husband was already away so I was glad to go. After being assessed at Pontefract barracks I was sent to Wittering aerodrome as a plotter and later on to the well known Coltishall aerodrome in Norwich. Pilots Douglas Bader and Guy Gibson were stationed there and we would see them on the occasions they came into the ops room. I was on duty the night Guy Gibson was killed as was his wife who was a WAF Officer at the time. We were all devastated.
I met some wonderful girls during this time particularly Margaret from Glasgow, we were together for three years. With the arrival of Doodlebugs and V2s which could not be plotted we were disbanded. Margaret and I applied to go on a driving course at Camberly, Surrey and were both accepted. On arriving at the camp we were ushered into a room and sat at desks to sign secrecy forms: it turned out that Princess Elizabeth was also on the course! We were told not to speak to her unless she spoke first and then to address her as Ma’am. She was to be known as Subliton Windsor. The Princess arrived each morning in a pristine old green Rover. We drove anything from old ambulances and jeeps to a 1300cwt truck, everyone would dread getting that! We had a visit at the camp from the King, Queen and Princess Margaret which was wonderful. The girls would all play netball together but the Princess was not allowed, I’m sure she would have liked to join in.
The war was all but over at this time so we had to leave and were demobbed soon after. We all went down to London at the end of the war, it seemed strange to see Princess Elizabeth standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after seeing her in overalls!
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