Leading Wren Margery Ellaine Palmer

Discussion in 'The Women of WW2' started by remlapm, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. remlapm

    remlapm Junior Member

    I am trying to find out a little more about what my mother did during the war.
    We have a copy of her WRNS Employment Certificate that says that Leading Wren Margery Palmer was employed in the W.R.N.S. between Feb 1943 - Aug 1945 on Special Duties.

    Why is there no service number on the form?
    What does it mean by Special Duties?

    My father has no idea what she did, we know that at one point she was stationed somewhere near Glasgow and the only thing that dad can remember was that people around her were wearing communications insignia although she wore no identification badges at all on her uniform.

    Hope that someone out there can help.

    Thanks

    Mike
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Mike and welcome to the forum. Have you applied to the Royal Navy for her service records? I suspect they may contain the answers.

    Regards
    Andy
     
  3. remlapm

    remlapm Junior Member

    No not applied for her records yet. I need to get my dad to sign the application forms for full service records, that will take a little persuasion. The application form asks for her service number and NI number. Im not sure if we know these. I will have to ask dad next time I see him.

    Mike
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I'm not a RN expert but from the Army side of things the service number is not essential if you know the date of birth. As for NI number, I don't think people had National Insurance numbers unitl the advent of the NHS in 1948, unless I'm thinking of the NH number.

    Either way don't give up and don't be put off if the RN says they have a long waiting list - I think you will find they may hold a lot of information you are looking for.

    Andy
     
  5. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Welcome, Mike.
    Best advice when researching any serviceman/woman - start first with their service records. If she was employed on special duties the record will probably not tell you what she was doing but will tell what establishment she was serving with/attached to. Then forums such as this can help with the rest.

    Drew is correct - a service number is desireable but not essential. Give as much information as you can.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
  6. remlapm

    remlapm Junior Member

    I had a chat with my Dad this evening. Im not sure where I got the Glasgow thing from but it would appear that she had only one posting, Edgware. Aparently she worked somewhere within walking distance of Edgware tube station. She was a Wren working in an establishment full of RAF. She was sworn to secrecy and up until her death in 1969 never revealed what she did despite my dads attempts to get her to give him a clue.

    Dad has agreed to let me apply for her service record so we will get that under way and wait and see.

    Thanks for your help so far, I will keep you all posted as to what I discover.

    Mike
     
  7. remlapm

    remlapm Junior Member

    Still waiting for my dad to fill in the forms for mums service record but I may have uncovered something that might help. I have several sets of notes that my wife has taken during conversations with my dad and on one of them he says that mum worked at Stanmore. This morning I asked him which was correct Stanmore or Edgeware. He replied Stanmore.

    Thats great because there was an X station at Stanmore and I now feel that it was quite likely that my mum served there. The location of the site, as shown on Bletchley Park Jewels - Stanmore outstation is pretty much as dad remembers being a short walk from the tube station. I cannot wait now for Dad to get mums service record in the hope that it will clarify the situation one way or the other.

    In the mean time if there is anyone out there who can remember serving at Stanmore with my mother Margery Palmer (nee Foster) I would love to hear from you.

    Mike
     
  8. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  9. remlapm

    remlapm Junior Member

    Finally I have persuaded my father to fill in the forms and send them off. He has today received a letter from the Navy Records Search people saying that her record has been found and they need to do more research to complete it. They anticipate being able to send the completed records within 30 days. So things are moving and we look forward to finding out a little more. Will be in touch as soon as we have the records as I'm sure we will have questions.

    Mike
     
  10. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    good news Mike
    please keep in touch

    regards
    Clive
     
  11. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Special Duties covered a myriad of sins, Codebreaking at Bletchley, attached to SOE, or DNI, really need to see her records or know where she was posted in WWII.
     
  12. remlapm

    remlapm Junior Member

    OK Its finally arrived. I will scan the pages we have, such as they are, and post them in the next couple of days. Basically it breaks down as follows

    From P&V Ledgers

    Margery Ellaine Palmer Ne Foster, Service number WRNS51771

    Enrolled 10th Feb 1943

    HMS Pembroke III (Mill Hill) 10 Feb 1943 - 24 Feb 1943 - Wren

    HMS Westcliffe 25 Feb 1943 - Date not recorded - Wren

    HMS Pembroke III (Stanmore) Date not recorded - 11 Oct 1944 - Wren

    HMS Pembroke III (Stanmore) 12 Oct 1944 - 26 Oct 1945 - Leading Wren

    Mrs Margery Ellaine Palmer released to shore in class A on 26 October 1045 (Dad says she applied to leave the service on their marriage)

    There is a section on the service record that seems to cover her rank. She starts as a Wren (G), then Wren (S), Wren (H S R), and finally Ldg Wren (S). Can anyone help interpret this for me.

    The record is stamped that a war gratuity was paid by HMS Pembroke III 840

    Hope someone can help to work out what she was possibly doing based on this information. I will post scanned images as soon as I have them available

    Many thanks in advance

    Mike
     
  13. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

  14. remlapm

    remlapm Junior Member

    OK, if it helps at all here are the scans of the paperwork received. I would welcome any assistance as I feel we are no closer to understanding what Mum did in the war

    Many thanks

    Mike
     

    Attached Files:

  15. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Hello Mike

    You do have a number of interesting docs.
    They appear to relate to special duties.
    As Jedburgh states it could have covered a multitude of areas.
    I have sent this link to Jedburgh to see if he can add an more info

    regards
    Clive
     
  16. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Hi I guess we need to work out what was going on at Pembroke III - will have a look around and get back to you
     
  17. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    HMS Pembroke III - accounting base at London and outstations between 1942 and 1952.
    HMS Pembroke V - naval base at Dover between 1919 and 1923, secret base at Bletchley Park between 1941 and 1942, and the name for WRNS personnel in London between 1945 and 1946.

    Looks like she was involved in code-breaking at one of the Bletchley sub-stations
     
  18. remlapm

    remlapm Junior Member

    I spoke with my Dad at the weekend. He can clearly remember visiting mum at Stanmore.

    "Turn left out of the tube station and she was working a couple of hundred yards away on the right. The base was single storey MOD buildings fairly new and was guarded by RAF Military Police. Mum wore a writers badge on her uniform and HMS on her hat, she worked with RAF personnel who all seemed to be wearing communications badges. One of the RAF officers let me use his bed and I stayed overnight a couple of times, never had any problem getting through the security but then I was in RAF uniform. I only saw the accommodation block never saw where she worked. I always wondered what she did as she seemed to know when our squadron was on ops. Until the day she died she never told me what she did"

    Dad at that stage was a Squadron Photographer based at various RAF stations in East Anglia. He was later discharged as surplus to requirements when the war in Europe ended and transferred to the Army initially Argyle & Sutherland Highlanders then transferred to the Army Pay Corps and spent his final war years paying off returning troops in Calais.

    It would seem that we have Intelligence connections in the family, Father in law was in the Royal Corps of Signals as a "Special Operator" and intercepted Japanese radio messages in India & Australia & Mum seems to have been at a Bletchley Park outstation. All very interesting I feel very proud of their contribution.

    Thanks for all your assistance, If anyone can come up with more detailed info I will be very grateful.

    Many thanks

    Mike
     
  19. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  20. remlapm

    remlapm Junior Member

    This is the only bit that has me wondering. Dad insists that they turned left out of the tube station and the place was on the right. This is the exact opposite of the geography of Stanmore Y Station. I can only hope that it is down to his memory as everything else stacks up ok. Unless anyone can suggest an alternative location for where mum was. Dad says she definately wasnt at Bentley Priory or Stanmore Hall as both were "Stately Homes" and she was in a single story modern building. He recognises the type of building photographed in the link you have posted. The text says that it was guarded by Royal Marines wheras dads recollection is that the guards were RAF police.

    The plot thickens

    Mike
     

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