Girl Gunners of WW2

Discussion in 'General' started by Sheila M, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. Sheila M

    Sheila M Member

    Found a TV programme today about the Royal Hospital, Chelsea and their proposals to allow women to live there. One of the ladies who visited the Hospital said she was a "Girl Gunner" from WW2.

    I had absolutely no idea that women were employed as gunners and would like to learn more about these Girl Gunners. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can read? Googling "Girl Gunners in WW2" doesn't help much.
     
  2. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

  3. op-ack

    op-ack Senior Member

    Sheila

    That would be the fine Ladies of the ATS who served in mixed Anti-Aircraft Batteries during WW2. The ATS did everything except man the guns. They took great pride in the fact that the were allowed to wear the white lanyard. Many adopted the RA grenade as a breast badge, and there are occasions where their sergeants adopted the RA Gun above the stripes as worn by full sergeant in the RA. Try to get hold of a copy of Sisters in Arms by Vee Robinson. Vee tells her story as a member of a mixed battery. Be careful though, there are two books of the same name, on different subjects!

    Phil
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  5. Sheila M

    Sheila M Member

    Thanks chaps - I knew someone here would have the answers. :)

    Looks like I'm in for some serious reading soon.
     
  6. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    There are some more good links in this thread. :)
     
  7. john_w

    john_w Junior Member

    My mother was a Girl Gunner. ATS then to the anti aircraft batteries right in the middle of bomb alley at Crayford in Kent. After the invasion she went to Belgium with the ATS and served there for a while.


    I have lots of her photographs including an official one of her ATS passing out parade. I will dig out a few and have a look at the badges.
     
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  9. Sheila M

    Sheila M Member

  10. Sheila M

    Sheila M Member

    My mother was a Girl Gunner. ATS then to the anti aircraft batteries right in the middle of bomb alley at Crayford in Kent. After the invasion she went to Belgium with the ATS and served there for a while.


    I have lots of her photographs including an official one of her ATS passing out parade. I will dig out a few and have a look at the badges.


    I'd love to see some of those photographs John. Also, if you have ever managed to get any stories I'd love to read them.

    Sheila
     
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Yep! And the nice thing is that the powers that be are talking of designing an official handbag for the ladies!:D

    I think hey need a skirt rather than trousers too :)
     
  12. Sheila M

    Sheila M Member

    I think hey need a skirt rather than trousers too :)

    Why? They didn't complain about the uniform when they applied to join. Although I think that ladies of their age may well be more comfortable wearing a skirt. :)
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    For the reasons you say plus Ladies in the British Army wear skirts in No.2 dress.
     
  14. Passchendaele_Baby

    Passchendaele_Baby Grandads Little Girl

    Woo!
    Girls Rule!
    Move over guys, its females time to take over the front lines!
    :D
     
  15. john_w

    john_w Junior Member

    They took great pride in the fact that the were allowed to wear the white lanyard. Many adopted the RA grenade as a breast badge
    They certainly did!!
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Anyone you know John?
     
  17. john_w

    john_w Junior Member

    My mother
     
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Nice one :)
     
  19. phil the aussie

    phil the aussie Junior Member

    Found a TV programme today about the Royal Hospital, Chelsea and their proposals to allow women to live there. One of the ladies who visited the Hospital said she was a "Girl Gunner" from WW2.

    I had absolutely no idea that women were employed as gunners and would like to learn more about these Girl Gunners. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can read? Googling "Girl Gunners in WW2" doesn't help much.
    you may have to get more specific with your search. women DID operate anti aircraft artillery mostly due to the shortage of men !!
     
  20. Sheila M

    Sheila M Member

    you may have to get more specific with your search. women DID operate anti aircraft artillery mostly due to the shortage of men !!

    Now that is interesting. One of my mother's friends who was in the Army for years claims that the girls didn't actually operate the guns but merely acted as spotters and range finders. She reckons that they worked on the Ack Ack batteries. Does anyone want to prove her wrong?
     

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