Letters, diaries and photographs from World War II


The ATS, Auxiliary Territorial Service, was the women’s branch of the British Army during the Second World War. It was formed on 9 September 1938, initially as a women’s voluntary service, and existed until 1 February 1949, when it was merged into the Women’s Royal Army Corps.

27th June 1945

My Darling Janie,

Just a few lines to tell you the latest news.
I’m feeling rather browned off at the moment. I always do when I get to a new place everything is strange and I don’t know anybody. On top of thus my fate is still undecided and until a certain major gets back on Friday I shall be none the wiser.
I am hanging about the Instrument Shop, which has several departments and not only has one to cope with ATS, but civilians, man and women, which is an impossible situation.
Also it doesn’t look as if people stay here any length of time and I can’t go taking control if I’m likely to be shifted at a moment’s notice. Finally of course the fate of my third pip is unknown. I don’t now where I stand.
As to living out, it is only allowed if you are living with your wife so as regards that we’ll wait until after your holiday and look at the situation again. It’s just hopeless trying to plan at the moment.
The situation at the moment is that I’m living at the R.A. Mess. The feeding arrangements are very good. My accommodation is three quarters of a mile away from the Mess. The room holds twi beds so my valise has come into little use. The remainder of the furniture is two chairs and a table. Oh yes, and a cupboard.
One batman may have as many as ten officers to do. Mine hasn’t that many but he doesn’t seem to be very clever so that pleases me.
The Instrument Workshop is at least a mile from the Mess so you see I’m going to put a great deal of walking in.
The hours are 8.30 to 12 and 2 to 5.30 so no one could find fault with that. Half day Saturday, so I should be able to make an odd weekend dash home. I shall have to work out the trains.
After I’d reported here I dashed back to your parents after lunch on Tuesday and got my valise and got it here on a bus. My, I had to smile hard to laugh that one off.
I shall go to your parents this weekend so I must try and get a ration card because I’ve already had a meal there and no coupons.
My best love to you both,
And I’m still your own,
Johnnie xxxxx
PS Don’t you get blue sweetheart. The browned-off-ness is only a passing phase.

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