15:00 24th October 1945 – 75 years on


Two hundred girl drivers of the American Ambulance were being reviewed to-day by the Queen at a stand-down parade at Buckingham Palace. (…) Among the drivers representing units from all parts of England and Wales – are girls with whom the Queen talked during her tours of the bombed cities with the King.

At 3PM on Wednesday the 24th October 1945, around 50% of the American Ambulance drivers and some other staff gathered in London for a very special celebration. The occasion was their stand down parade, they were inspected by The Queen and Princess Elizabeth along with Aneurin Bevan (Minister of Health ), John Winant (American Ambassador) and the American Ambulance Directors.

Drivers from up and down the country piled in the back of ambulances to head down. My great grandmother, Betty Bacon drove her Ambulance (JEV 896) down from Leeds for the occasion, in the front she had Miss Robinson with her, in the back were eight more of Leeds’ drivers! I’m sure it must have been a snug fit but I can’t begin to imagine how much fun it must have been for them.

Below I have included a selection of original press photos. Many of these have never been published online and I have never posted this many photos in one go on here! I hope you enjoy looking through them, they all show the parade in the courtyard of Buckingham Palace with all the dignitaries present.

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