Violet Edith Akehurst aged 16 ATS

Discussion in 'The Women of WW2' started by KevinBattle, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    It's proving a little more difficult to find correct details for Margaret Taylor Gorman.
    It appears she was attached to 2 Group Bomber Command.
    2 Group RAF, was reformed as No. 2 (Bombing) Group on 20 March 1936, with it headquarters based at Abingdon.
    By the outbreak of war, Group Headquarters were at RAF Wyton and composed of the following squadrons and Wings;
    Nos. 18 and 57 Squadrons (composing 70 Wing at Upper Heyford) ;
    Nos. 21 and 82 Squadrons (79 Wing, Watton)
    Nos. 90 and 101 Squadrons (81 Wing, West Raynham),
    Nos. 114 and 139 Squadrons (82 Wing, Wyton) and
    Nos. 107 and 110 Squadrons (83 Wing, Wattisham)
    Godmanchester is very close to RAF Wyton, so it's likely that she died either in Station Sick Quarters or perhaps killed in an accident at RAF Wyton.
    Godmanchester St Mary only has 6 CWGC graves, so I incorrectly assumed that her family may have been residents there, but the absence of any Birth Registration in Huntingdon and the closeness of Wyton make the possible explanation of a death at the base more likely.

    If I can't trace the correct DoB's to establish who was youngest, I think it safe to simply say that
    Violet Akehurst was the youngest ATS casualty and that
    Margaret Gorman was the youngest WAAF.
    There's no bragging rights in sad events like this, just that they appear (so far) to be the youngest servicewomen.

    If anyone has helpful information to add, then it will be most welcome.
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Kevin

    You are right in that there are no bragging rights, but a very worthwhile investigation by the forum and I was glad to be a small part of it. It is what this forum is all about, finding an answer to a seemingly impossible question from a myriad of sources.

  3. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Agreed, and thanks in no small part to your efforts, and with learned input from many others.
    If/when I hear back from the family, I'll post up any findings, but for now I think we've established these two as the youngest in their respective Service, from whatever cause. Such a pity that their youthful enthusiasm was snuffed out so soon.

    Thanks to all who have helped in clarifying so much, so soon, that's what this forum does best!
  4. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    The family members I have contacted have very generously sent me copies of Violets Birth and Death Certificates.
    Violet was born 23rd August 1925.
    She died on 24 November 1941 at Bath Military Hospital of pneumococcal meningitis.
    That makes her just 16 and 3 months old, so likely to be the youngest in ALL Womens' Armed Forces, and certainly the youngest in the ATS.

    With the information that the anti aircraft battery was the first deployed with women in a mixed unit, the move to Richmond Park was on 21 August 1941, and 2 days later Violet turned 16. I'm tempted to speculate that with the unit being so close to London, did numerous dignitaries visit and have articles and/or photos in contemporary newspaper or magazines? it's too much to hope for a Pathe news reel, but perhaps her age was mentioned?
    CL1 and Tricky Dicky like this.
  5. jonheyworth

    jonheyworth Senior Member

    Margaret Gorman drowned on leave when a rowing boat overturned on the river Ouse in her home town of godmanchester
    CL1 and Tricky Dicky like this.

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