Katherine Joins the ATS, Part 1

Private W/31486 Auxiliary Territorial Service WWII

Records indicate Katherine enrolled at Saltdean, Nr Brighton

We know from Cameron Carr that Katherine, (aged 20) walked to Wormingford and caught a bus to Colchester to join the ATS.
She most probably visited the Meeanee Barracks at the Colchester Garrison which was very likely a "holding point" for new recruits.
I would suggest the girls were subsequently given rail
passes to travel down to Saltdean.
It would have been implausible for Katherine to go direct to
Saltdean, on her own by public transport.
We know she had a brief connection to the Barracks, as the
Commanding Officer sent his condolences to the family after her death
She certainly never had any connection with Meeanee after
(b) Katherine officially joined the services on 15th February 1940, at the ATS Recruitment Centre at Saltdean, Nr Brighton
On her application form she was described as being:-
Height 5ft 7"
Weight 10st 10lb
Hazel eyes with brown hair
Religion, C of E
Occupation, Parlourmaid

The address given on her enlisted form, reads Mace Farm Copdock although by 1939, the family was at OverHall, Bures.
With her occupation being Parlourmaid, it seems to suggest that she had stayed behind and was working for Mr Hempson at Copdock
Mr Hempson was a partner in auctioneers "Spurling and Hempson" based in Ipswich



d) 6th March 1940
Posted to "D" Company 2nd Middlesex ATS,Platoon
Accommodated in quarters and attached for rations to
121st OCTU, RA, HAC

Press Cutting confirms posting

RA:- Royal Artillery
HAC:- Honourable Artillery Company
OCTU:- Officer Cadet Training Unit.

Her stay there was very short, as she was soon on the move once again
Her service records indicate during 1941, she was transferred from Aldershot to Alton, Staffs to the Office Cadet Training Unit'

Today we know this location as Alton Towers, but during World War 2 it was owned by the War Dept.

Officer Cadet training started at the Towers in 1941, although apparently there were soldiers stationed there earlier, possibly Polish. Permanent staff at the Officer Cadet Training Unit (OCTU) were in the main from the machine gun regiments: Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, Cheshire, Middlesex

Research Alan Beales 12/11/2014