Lizzie's mother joins the Women’s Royal Naval Service
It was very difficult for me to volunteer for the WRNS, as I was the eldest girl of 4 girls, the next to me being 7 years younger and only 13 years old. We were very hard up, so I was only allowed to go on one condition; that I handed over half my wage to be sent home. It was only 16 shillings, so I was left with 8 shillings. My Wren friends used to help me out if we went for a meal etc. I was engaged to be married when I joined up, a boy sweetheart who had joined the RAF. But he was killed over
My 21st birthday was held at the Queens Hotel, Southsea. We had a super time, as I was allowed to invite 20 WRNS, and 20 mixed Army, Navy and Air force men. Glenn Miller and his Orchestra played at Southsea that year, and it was a great thrill to actually dance to the band. Well, we could not dance, it was too crowded, but the atmosphere was electric, and I’ll never forget it.
Lots of funny things happened while I was in the WRNS, like driving along
Many memories surface – especially the one about the hip bath. I was a Motor Transport Driver and M.T. drivers serving at night had no bathroom, so one of the girls mothers found, and sent us a hip bath. It was quite luxurious, filled with water, in front of the fir and one sat in it like an armchair, legs over the sides. One night however, the duty officer was doing her rounds early, and accompanied by 2 male ratings. We rushing to aid the poor girl in the hip bath, holding towels in front of her, but I think the sailors thought it was their birthday, and we, of course, had quite a dressing down to next day, and weren’t allowed to use the hip bath again.
Driving back from
We had such fun, in spite of everything. Perhaps we were aware that it might be a short life, and we were determined to make the most of each day, but there was such an air of comradeship everywhere, everyone pulling together, helping those who had been bereaved; so many in such a short time.
When I met my future husband, Jack, he had been put on shore based duty, having contracted asthma when returning on a ship from
When the war was over I worked at Harrods in