Lithograph recruiting poster after Abram Games (1914-1996), published by HM Stationery Office, 1944.
The Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) was established in September 1938 as the threat of war increased. ATS recruitment was aimed at women aged between 18 and 43. But the upper age limit was increased to 50 for ex-servicewomen.
Women were not allowed to fight, but they undertook a wide variety of duties. These included work as telephonists, car mechanics, drivers, despatch riders, mess orderlies, postal workers, search light operators, ammunition inspectors and military police.
By June 1945, there were around 200,000 members of the ATS from all across the British Empire. They served in many overseas theatres of operation as well as on the Home Front. 335 ATS women were killed by enemy action and many more injured.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection