Online Collection

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ATS despatch riders, 1943 (c)

Photograph, World War Two (1939-1945), 1943 (c).

The first women recruited to the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) worked as cooks, clerks and storekeepers. As time went on the range of duties expanded and women served as office, mess and telephone orderlies, drivers, despatch riders, postal workers and ammunition inspectors. Women were not allowed to fight in battle but as more and more men were called overseas to serve, their duties extended to include radar operators, military police, gun crews, and many other operational support tasks. By June 1945, there were over 190,000 members of the ATS from all across the British Empire and Commonwealth.

From an album containing 65 photographs relating to the Auxiliary Territorial Service and British Forces in the Middle East, 1942-1945.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 1995-01-55-47


National Army Museum, Out of Copyright


National Army Museum, Study collection

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