Women's Royal Army Corps [UK]
Authors and Contributors this page: T.F. Mills
Page created 1 November 2000. Corrected and updated 11.10.2005
 
Women's
Royal Army Corps

[and predecessors]

ATS crest and tie
by A. Melville-Brown
WRAC crest and tie
by A. Melville-Brown
United Kingdom 
  Titles & Lineage
  History
  Battle Honours
  Colours, Standards & Guidons
  Uniforms & Badges
  Colonels-in-Chief
  Colonels

  Biography & Gallantry Awards
  Traditions
  Alliances
  Associations, Forums, Re-Enactors
  Museums, Monuments, Memorials
  Bibliography

How to find information about individuals who served in this corps
 
1915.03
Women's Legion
formed as a non-military volunteer corps to support catering and ambulance driving services
1917.03 Women's Army Auxiliary Corps
formed to provide cooking and catering, storekeeping, clerical work, telephony and administration, printing, motor vehicle maintenance for the Army
general service personnel (but not Transport Section) absorbed by WAAC
1918.04.09 Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps
(named for Queen Mary)
1919 disbanded
1921.09.27 disbanded

1938.09.09 Auxiliary Territorial Service
formed as a women's auxiliary, numbering 20,000 during the Second World War; women served as office, mess and telephone orderlies, drivers, postal workers, butchers, bakers, ammunition inspectors, military police, gun crews, and many other operational support tasks; and incorporated First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, which provided most of the ATS Transport Section
1949 disbanded, and remaining cadre absorbed by Women's Royal Army Corps

1949.02.01 Women's Royal Army Corps
formed for basic training of women at WRAC Centre, followed by employment training as an apprentice (RCT, Royal Signals, etc.); women were assigned to units and housed in self-contained accommodations, and armed for self-defense, but not employed in direct combat
1950.03 ranks normalised with male equivalents in Army
1992.04.06 disbanded, and personnel dispersed to all other corps; major element amalgamated with Royal Army Pay Corps, to form Staff and Personnel Branch, Adjutant General's Corps
WRAC History (Association site)
Women at War (BBC History Trail)
Women at War (We Were There Exhibition)
Women and the Military during World War One, by Joanna Bourke (BBC Wars & Conflict)
Women's Organisations, by Chris Baker (The British Army in the Great War)
A.T.S. Remembered, by Beryl Furey-King
Women in War, by Peter N. Risbey.
Auxiliary Territorial Service: A Helping Hand to the Army (Military Historical Society West; Czech)
Women in the Auxiliary Services, by Peter N. Risbey.
A.T.S. Organisation, by Beryl Furey-King
A.T.S. Royal Artillery Personnel, by Beryl Furey-King
Locations of A.T.S. Units July 1945 (PRO WO33)
The Women of the Special Operations Executive, by Andy Forbes
   
HQ and Depot:
  Queen Elizabeth Park, Guildford, Surrey
   

Note: battle honours are not awarded to this corps.

 
Note: this corps does not carry Colours.
   
Badges: A laurel wreath surmounted by a crown; within the wreath a lioness rampant.
Uniform: 1949: bottle green; facings: beech brown
   
   
     
   
Controller Commandant, ATS:
1941.07.19 Hon. Gen. HRH Princess Mary, The Princess Royal, CI, GCVO, GBE, RRC, TD
Commandant-in-Chief, WRAC:
1949 HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
   
Controller Commandant, WRAC:
1949.02.01 Hon. Gen. HRH Princess Mary, The Princess Royal, CI, GCVO, GBE, RRC, TD
1965-1967 vacant
1967.02.28 Hon. Maj-Gen. HRH Katharine, The Duchess of Kent, GCVO
   
Honorary Senior Controller, WRAC:
1949.02.01 HRH The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, LG, CI
Honorary Brigadier, WRAC:
1950? HRH The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, LG, CI [appointment relinquished 1952 upon accession as HM Queen Elizabeth II]
Deputy Controller Commandant, WRAC:
Brig. Dame Mary Railton, DBE
1967.05.04 Col. Lucy Myfanwy Davies, CBE
1977.11.04 Brig. Eileen Joan Nolan, CB
1984.11.05 Brig. Anne Field, CB [continued 1992 as Dep. Col. Cmdt. Adjutant General's Corps]
     
Colonel Commandant, WRAC [1990-1992]:
1990.12.19 Gen. Sir Jeremy John George Mackenzie, KCB, OBE, ADC [continued 1992 as Col. Cmdt. Adjutant General's Corps]
SOE Agents, by Andy Forbes
 
Motto: Suaviter in modo, fortiter in re
Nicknames: none
Anniversaries: Corps Day (1 Feb.)
Freedoms:
Marches: quick (1955): Lass of Richmond Hill + Early One Morning (arr. J.B. MacDowell)
    slow: Greensleeves (arr. J.B. MacDowell)
    Pipes (1960): The Nut Brown Maiden
Musicians: ATS Band officially recognised 1944, disbanded 1948?; WRAC Band formed 1949, became nucleus of AGC Band 1992.
Mascot:
Miscellaneous Tradition Links:

The Women's Royal Australian Army Corps

New Zealand Women's Royal Army Corps
 
WRAC Association
Royal Artillery Association AA Command, ATS Members
Women's Royal Army Corps [unofficial association]
WRAC Association Winchester Branch
Re-enactment group ATS/VHK (Vereniging Historische Militaria, Netherlands)
Adjutant General's Corps Museum Collection, Winchester (Army Museums Ogilby Trust)
WRAC Collection, National Army Museum, London (Army Museums Ogilby Trust)
The Women of the Special Operations Executive - The Memorials, by Andy Forbes
Regimental Journal:
The lioness. semi-annual. {website}
Full Histories:
Birdwell, Shelford. The Women's Royal Army Corps. London : Leo Cooper, 1977. ISBN: 0850520991
Terry, Roy. Women in khaki : the story of the British woman soldier. London : Columbus Books, 1988. ISBN: 0862873215
First World War:
Colclough, Molly. Women's Legion, 1916-1920. London : Spearman, 1939.
Cowper, Julia Margaret. A short history of Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. London : Women's Royal Army Corps Association, 1966.
Second World War:
Bigland, Eileen. Britain's other army; the story of the A.T.S. London : Nicholson & Watson,1946.
Cavadini, Ada. This was the A.T.S. London : D. Crisp, 1946.
Williams Burr, Pat. The wearing o' the khaki. London : Excalibur Press of London, 1990. ISBN: 1872080898 (pbk)
Robinson, Vee ; Edmonds, Noel. Sisters in arms. London : HarperCollins, 1996. ISBN: 0004720849 (pbk.)
Dady, Margaret. A woman's war : life in the ATS. Lewes : Book Guild, 1986. ISBN: 0863321828
Gooding, Joan B. They gave us khaki bloomers. London : Avon Books, 1996. ISBN: 1860332196
Sherman, Margaret. No time for tears in the A.T.S. London : G.G. Harrap, 1944.
Hall, Pat. What a way to win a war : the story of No. 11 Coy MTC and 5-0-2 MAC, ATS, 1940-1945. Tunbridge Wells : Midas Books, 1978. ISBN: 0859361365
Cowper, J. M. The Auxiliary Territorial Service. [London] : The War Office, 1949.
Kerr, Dorothy Brewer. The girls behind the guns : with the ATS in World War II. London : R. Hale, 1990. ISBN: 0709041950
Cotterell, Anthony. She walks in battledress; the day's work in the A.T.S. London : Christophers, 1942.
Gwynne-Vaughan, H. C. I. (Helen Charlotte Isabella Fraser). Service with the army. London, New York : Hutchinson & Co., 1942.
Neill-Fraser, R. M. We serve. London : Hodder and Stoughton, 1942.
Wadge, D. Collett. Women in uniform. London : S. Low, Marston, 1946.
Whateley, Leslie, Dame. As thoughts survive. London : Hutchinson & Co., 1949
 
Short Histories:
Nicholson, Jenny. Kiss the girls good-bye. London : Hutchinson, [ca. 1950]
 
Special Topics:
Walsh, R. R. (R. Raymond). Roll of honour of the Auxilary Territorial Service (later re-named the WRAC) : (covers the period from 1939 to 1947). Blackburn : T.H.C.L., 1999.: ISBN: 0948494786
Brayley, Martin ; Ingram, Richard. World War II British women's uniforms : in colour photographs. Marlborough, Wiltshire [England] : Crowood Press, 2001. (Europa militaria special ; no. 7) ISBN: 1861264755
 
Manuscripts and Archives:
Weber, Amy Moffet. The women's Auxiliary Territorial Service : a phenomenon in the British armed forces. Typescript. Dissertation: Thesis (M.A.)--DePaul University, 1999.
Women's Services, First World War (TNA Research Guides: Military Records Information 74)