Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The ATS girl who worked in the bunker

One of the very happy outcomes of my "Churchill's Secret Reigate" talk was a phone call from a lady in the audience who has found this little gem.

In a 4-page document we can see a photo and read about Eileen Olive McKerron, nee Graves. She describes in exact detail her uniform issued, her daily tasks and memorable moments between 11/12/1942 and July 1945. How exciting to be posted in her home county, in the signal office tunnelled out of the chalk hills, up steep steps and narrow paths and the whole area disguised with camouflage material. Inside the tunnels were the cipher room, the office, the radio room, the switchboards and the teleprinter room - all in constant use and with urgent, important messages. When the news of the success of the invasion of Normandy reached them, the office staff felt that they had done really valuable work.

She even chronicles as memorable moments the cycling in Surrey with most signposts missing, and watching the 'doodlebugs spluttering overhead'.

You can read this rare document here:

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