International Women’s Day 2019



During the Second World War, at least 12,000 women from Northern Ireland volunteered and served in the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS), the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) and the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF).

Today on International Women’s Day 2019 we are thinking about the ATS.

Women serving in the ATS were employed in operating the searchlights at the coastal defence sites at Grey Point and Magilligan. Others served in 3 (Ulster) Anti-Aircraft brigade. About half the ATS women served outside Northern Ireland.

On Easter Tuesday 1941, a bomb hit the ATS girl’s quarters in Victoria Barracks Belfast. ATS personnel had been billeted to Eglinton Street Presbyterian Church, which was also hit.

The pictures attached show an ATS uniform which once belonged to Elizabeth Lunn who served in the ATS in Northern Ireland during the Second World War. (NIWM: 2018.2343.01 (Cap), NIWM: 2018.2343.02 (Jacket), NIWM: 2018. 2343.03 (skirt)).

A rail ticket was found in the pocket of Elizabeth’s ATS uniform. This rail ticket is for B.C.D.R (Bangor County Down Railway) Motor Service, Belfast to Kinnegar Halt and back or vice versa. (NIWM: 2018.2343.04).

We are interested in learning more about the various roles of women during the Second World War in Northern Ireland. If you or someone you know have any objects, photographs or stories from the war, we would love to hear from you.

Find out more about our ongoing Oral History Project and how you can get involved:…/war-oral-history-project/


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