South Scotland

World War Two veteran Anne Robson dies aged 108

Anne Robson Image copyright Women's Royal Army Corps Association
Image caption Anne Robson joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1942

A woman believed to be the oldest surviving female World War Two veteran in the UK has died at the age of 108.

Anne Robson, from Duns in the Scottish Borders, joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1942.

The Women's Royal Army Corps Association (WRACA) described her as a "true pioneer" who was "fiercely independent".

It confirmed that Ms Robson - who was living in a care home in Edinburgh - died on Monday evening.

It is hoped a memorial service will be held in her honour towards the end of February.

Born Gladys Anne Logan MacWatt on 14 September 1911, Ms Robson trained as a physiotherapist before becoming a teacher.

She joined the ATS in 1942 and rose to the rank of senior commander (major) as an assistant inspector of physical training.

"I didn't join up right at the beginning of the war - I think it was a couple of years," she recalled in an interview in December 2018.

"They were starting a physical training wing for women.

"I went in as a private - I thought it was better if I was going to be an officer to know what went on underground."

Image copyright Women's Royal Army Corps Association
Image caption It is hoped a memorial service can be held for Ms Robson next month

However, she said she quickly became an officer.

"My first posting was London district - the bombing was still going on and I saw the first 'doodlebug' fall," she said.

"I didn't know what it was but I was looking out of the window and this thing came buzzing along and I had to suddenly dive down."

Ms Robson remained in service for two years after the war ended before working at the Avery Hill College of Education in London.

She got married in 1953 and moved to Newcastle where she took up the post of deputy head at the Longbenton Secondary Modern School.

'Very inspiring'

When her husband Jack died in 1972 she moved to St Andrews before moving into residential care in Edinburgh.

Ms Robson's niece - Katharine Trotter - said her aunt was always happy to talk about her wartime experience but "never bragged" about it.

"She was a very inspiring relative, " she said.

"Over the years she had her hardships but never once did I hear her complain.

"She retained her sense of humour - and I think that is one of the reasons she had so many visitors."

The WRACA added that it was "extremely proud" of the charity's association with Ms Robson.

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