Changing Course: The Wartime Experiences of a Member of the Women's Royal Naval Service, 1939-1945

TitleChanging Course: The Wartime Experiences of a Member of the Women's Royal Naval Service, 1939-1945
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsHouston, Roxane
PublisherGrub Street
CityLondon
Abstract

In June 1940 following the Dunkirk evacuations, Britain stood alone. After witnessing the demoralised survivors first hand, Roxane Houston was determined to 'do her bit'. She volunteered to join the WRNS. From a comfortable background with a sheltered upbringing, she now began a remarkable, and sometimes difficult journey, set against six years of war. Starting in 1940 at the Royal Naval Air Station at St Merryn near Padstow, under seemingly constant attack from the Luftwaffe, via the RNAS at Machrihanish in Scotland, preparing for Combined Ops at Largs and Greenock in the run-up to D-Day, thence to Kandy and Colombo, in Ceylon, she did not return home until early 1946. She met many varied characters, making some lifelong friends, experienced much excitement and great danger, happiness and personal tragedy, and received more than one proposal of marriage. Now, in her twilight years, she revisits those momentous days which tested her and her contemporaries to the full. Her autobiography is a highly personal, often poignant account of her time as a Wren, which not only gives a fascinating insight into service life, but also reflects the reshaping of her own outlook and attitudes. [Imperial War Museums]

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254255788

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