girls were put on active duty, it was realised that Service Dress was not adequate
for some of the jobs that the ATS were being asked to do. For example kinetheodolite
operators out in the open air all day, those on gun parks and drivers of large
transport vehicles were having great difficulty coping with the weather and
the inadequacies of a skirt. It was therefore decided to issue members with
Battle Dress (B.D.). The first B.D. issued was the same as the men's in small
sizes. The material was rather rough (in fact the men used to shave their B.D.
to try and remove the rough ‘hairy’ feel that it had) and eventually the women’s
B.D. was made to the same style but using the softer cloth that was usually
preserved for Officer’s S.D. Battledress consisted:
of 566 (M) Heavy Anti Aircraft battery, Royal Artillery, wearing B.D. (Battle
jacket or blouse - originally with pleated and shaped breast pockets,
hidden buttons and faced collar.
or slacks, cut to the female shape with two pleats at the front,
side button fastening, straight legs with small button tabs on the outside
bottom of each leg.
also sometimes wore a shirt and tie under their battledress
- same issue as with the S.D. Some photographs do show ATS in operation
without the shirt under the B.D. but in these circumstances, the collar
was buttoned up to the top. A work shirt was also issued.
This was generally short sleeved and had the texture of airtex material.
ATS cap was worn with B.D. but the Field cap was not.
leather boots were issued. Some of these have 8 laceholes and some
have 12. The leather was pebbled and the sole and heel were metal tipped.
Studs were sometimes added to the soles. In addition, brown pebbled leather
gaiters were also issued to wear over the trousers and
boots. The girls were issued with the same grey woollen socks as the men.
leather jerkin was issued for warmth. Originally a light
brown jerkin with a small centre back belt were given to women. This was
the same as that issued to despatch riders. Later in the war the women wore
the same dark brown leather jerkin as the men, although as the war continued
this fairly long garment got shorter.
boots - note the textured leather over most of the shoe, apart from the toe-cap.
The soles were also leather with metal tips added to the toe and heel to aid