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ATS/F.A.N.Y History




The Auxiliary Territorial Service was the women's branch of the British Army during the Second World War. It was formed on 9 September 1938, initially as a women's voluntary service, and existed until 1 February 1949.


The ATS had its roots in the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC), which formed in 1917 as a voluntary service. During the First World War its members served in a number of jobs including clerks, cooks, telephonists and waitresses. The WAAC was disbanded after four years in 1921.


Prior to the Second World War, the government decided to establish a new Corps for women, and an advisory council, which included members of the Territorial Army (TA), the Women's Transport Service and the Women's Legion, was set up. The council decided that the ATS would be attached to the Territorial Army, and the women serving would receive two thirds the pay of male soldiers.


All women in the Army joined the ATS except for nurses, who joined Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMS).




The First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Princess Royal's Volunteer Corps) is a British independent all-female unit and registered charity affiliated to, but not part of, the Territorial Army.


It was formed as the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry in 1907 as a first aid link between the field hospitals and the front lines, and was given the yeomanry title as all its members were originally mounted on horseback.


In the Second World War, the F.A.N.Y. was formed into the initial driver companies of the Auxiliary Territorial Service, called the Women's Transport Service, and it also served as a parent unit for many women who undertook espionage work for the Special Operations Executive. Three of these (Odette Sansom, Violette Szabo and Noor Inayat Khan), were awarded the George Cross and Nancy Wake the George Medal for their service.


Since the end of the war, the corps has specialised in communications for the Army and the City of London Police and is open to volunteers between the ages of 18 to 45 who reside or work near London (within the M25). Corps members are trained in radio communications, paramedical skills, map reading, navigation and orienteering, shooting, self-defence and survival techniques, advanced driving and casualty bureau documentation. On formal occasions they still wear a uniform similar to that worn by the Auxiliary Territorial Service in the Second World War (although their working dress is similar to that of the modern British Army). They also have their own rank system.


The First Aid Nursing Yeomanry was officially renamed the Princess Royal's Volunteer Corps in 1999 and is now referred to as FANY (PRVC). The original name has greater recognition, as well as greater prominence even in official publications and on its website.


MTC (Mechanised Transport Corps)


The Mechanized Transport Corps was founded in 1939 by Mrs G.M.Cook C.B.E. as a uniformed voluntary civilian transport organisation for

women. The aim was to enable women, unable to join the Services due to existing commitments, to do part-time driving duties. Members drove various types of vehicles for organisations throughout the UK, under the aegis of the Ministry of Transport. A number of overseas units were formed, the best known being the Hadfield-Spears unit who served with distinction in North Africa and Italy . MTC members were decorated for their work in the UK during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz.


MTC uniform was a khaki four pocket tunic and skirt similar to that worn by ATS Officers. The Jacket had MTC Buttons, bag type lower pockets, gauntlet cuff detail with a blue piping and was worn with a Sam Browne without the cross strap. The MTC badge of crossed spanners on a tyre was worn on the collars on a blue patch.

The MTC Cap was different to the ATS cap, but similar in style to that worn by the ATA. The MTC Cap was mage from khaki wool with a stiffened peak, plain crown and brown leather strap. The MTC Badge in bronze was worn on the front of the cap.



"The Paper Dolls" re-enactment group

Within the Island Fortress (MTC Picture) - Jon Mills

Women in Uniform by D Collett Wadge

The People Behind The Name 



Sculthorp - Wright


The historian, and dressmaker behind atsfanyuniforms. He personally researches all of our uniforms for historical accuracy, before they are put into production. He also hand-makes all of the uniforms, and hats that we sell







Sculthorp - Wright


Webmaster, and administrations manager. He designs all of our web-pages, and makes sure that YOU! are kept up-to-date with all of the latest information, and products.



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