Scottish War Blinded Member Freda Melville Shares Photographs from ATS Service during World War Two

Posted: 28/07/2015 | Scottish War Blinded

Scottish War Blinded member Freda Melville has shared photographs from her time with the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) during World War Two.

The National Service Act 1941 called up un-married women between the ages of 20-30 to contribute to either war work in industrial roles or service in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) or Women’s Royal Naval Service (WREN).

Over 65,000 women had joined the ATS by the end of 1941 engaged in roles including cooks, clerks, orderlies, store women and drivers. ATS personnel were also trained to operate Kinetheodolite instruments to collect trajectory data for artillery.     

As World War Two progressed and more men were required for front line service, the roles for women to undertake in the ATS developed. These included operating anti-aircraft batteries, radar, and searchlights as well as Military Police and service in France.

Freda worked in signals with the ATS who was part of the shift who received the ceasefire communications in Europe in May 1945. Freda recalled a great wave of relief experienced at that time after five long years of war.

Freda now resides in Dundee and joined Scottish War Blinded after experiencing significant sight loss in later life. Freda enjoys attending our monthly social club at Rosendael House organised by Scottish War Blinded’s Outreach Service.

Do you know anyone who has served in the ATS, WAAF or WREN’s living with a significant visual impairment in Scotland? Anyone who has done so may be eligible for Scottish War Blinded membership. Guide them to us