Women's Auxiliary Air Force 1939-1948. Originally the WRAF. Non-combatant. Blue uniforms. By 1945, about 22% of all personnel on airfields were women, of which 70% did skilled work.
Link: Women in the Blue
Duke of Westminster
Hugh Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster (1879-1953), known as "Bend Or" and "Benny". He developed estates in Scotland, South Africa, Canada and Australia and married four times. Won a DSO in the Great War and was an active member of the Conservative Party. In the 1930s he developed extreme right-wing opinions and became a member of several anti-Semitic organisations including the Anglo-German Fellowship and then the Right Club in 1939. At the outbreak of World War II, Westminster became a leading supporter of the Peace Aims Group, an organization that urged a negotiated peace settlement with Nazi Germany.
Episode: The White Feather
General term for the administrative centre of the British government, taken from the geographical location of the Houses of Parliament in Whitehall, a road in London. Downing Street leads off Whitehall
Episode: The White Feather
Wing Commander - see RAF Ranks
Insignia indicating pilot status. In the shape of an open pair of bird's wings, circle with "RAF" in centre, crown above.
Episode: The White Feather, Among the Few
Frederick York Wolseley was one of the largest car manufacturers of the Edwardian period. He founded the Wolseley Tool & Motor Car Company Ltd in 1901, producing commercial vehicles, marine and aero engines as well as cars. During WWI, no cars were made, but commercial vehicles were supplied to the military. Car production restarted in the 1920s and the Wolseley gained a reputation for being reliable and of high quality. During WWII, the company produced armaments for the military, car manufacture beginning again after the end of hostilities.
Two Wolesley's have been used so far in the Foyle's War series.
In the first series, AAP 764 is a c.1937 Wolseley 14/56 Series II painted dark blue with black wings. These episodes are set during the 'Phoney War' period and so while the car has blackout lamps it doesn't have white outline markings.
AAP 764 made a re-appearance in the fourth series of Foyle's War, though this was possibly stock footage from series 1 or 2.
In the second and third series the car used (KVX 757) is a more upright 1939/46 Wolseley 14/60 Series III in black with blackout lamps and outline markings. In reality KVX 757 is actually a post-war vehicle (1946), but for Foyle's War purposes it is depicted as a 1939 model.
In the early 1970s the car was found and saved by Wolseley Register members John Brindley (the Register's current historian) and Allan Perry. Following its restoration KVX had a number of owners until, at the start of 2003, it was sold to a film company.
KVX 757 is also used in the film Asylum (set in London and Wales around 1959/60) which has yet to be released.
Many thanks to Henk Shuuring from the Wolseley Register for contacting us with this information.
Link: Wolseley History and for Wolseley fans, the Wolseley Noticeboard.
Women's Land Army
The Women's Land Army (WLA) was re-established early in WWII. With the movement of male farm labourers to the armed services, women were required to step in and fill their places on the land. In 1944, the number of agricultural workers had increased by 22% over the war years, the majority of these being women and girls, both casual and regular workers. The work was hard, the days long and the pay poor.
In the UK, a term used to denote a member of the former Women's Royal Naval Service - WRNS. Formed in 1916. WWII membership increased dramatically, totalling 74,620 by 1944. During the war 102 were killed and 22 wounded. The female recruits were not on war ships but served at home and abroad with the Fleet Air Arm, Royal Marines, Coastal Forces and Combined Operations in many other capacities, eg drivers, cooks, electricians, engineers and radar operators. Wrens involved in the Fleet Air Arm did most jobs, including ferrying aircraft and doing aerial photography, but did not fly in aircraft involved in bombing operations.
Link: Wrens in the Fleet Air Arm
Episode: Eagle Day