As we move into December I thought I’d post about this, this is an original AAGB Christmas card. Unfortunately we don’t have many details about it however think it’s a lovely albeit simple card!
This is an extra post away from the normal fortnightly ones! A week ago a post that we has scheduled speculated more on the links between the AAGB and the Mechanised Transport Corps. I always knew some drivers were provided by the MTC but recently uncovered documents show that actually, over 50% of the ‘AAGB’ drivers were in fact of the MTC. More will be revealed over the coming months but for now I’ll leave you with some statistics from January 1945; The MTC provided 203 of the 382 drivers, ran 163 of the 302 vehicles, ran 14 of the 29 stations and drove 159,944 miles. They drove AAGB vehicles, were under AAGB control but wore MTC uniforms with the addition of an AAGB cloth badge. I look forward to sharing more with you in the coming months.
Here is a photo from the collection of Miss M B Wilford which may well be one of her. This photo is interesting as it proves the links between the AAGB and Mechanised Transport Corps. In this photo the member is wearing MTC uniform, MTC badges all round, the cap has blue piping around the edges and she will be wearing an “M.T.C.” tab on her shoulders. What you can’t see in the scan but can make out in the original image is that she is wearing an AAGB arm badge halfway down her left arm. This proves more the interconnectedness of the two organisations.
We’ve been lucky enough to track down more items from the collection of Miss M B Wilford. In this lot we got some photographs (two of which we don’t have copies of) a copy of the MTC rules and regulations 1943, also is Miss Wilford’s sam browne belt. We’ve also got from her our first bit of AAGB uniform, more to follow on that!
While in Leeds we snapped some photos of St John’s Church. This is where Leeds driver Ruth Davies got married in 1943, most of the members of Leeds who were able to were there and in fact the church is only a 5 min walk from where their station was. Ruth married Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Jack Sinton R.N.V.R on the 25th September 1943.
We’ve posted about AAGB playing cards before, they appear to have been in red and blue. We were really pleased to receive this near mint unopened package of blue ones. They’re in great condition, still in their original tax wrapper! We believe these cards will have been sold to raise funds for the AAGB.
While in London a while back we popped along to somewhere important in the history of the AAGB. No26&27 Knightsbridge is the former site of Alexandra Hotel. On the night of 10th May 1941, a single high explosive bomb tore through the roof of the hotel, detonating in the foyer. While we may never know quite how, officer ensign Marjorie Stewart Butler was killed in this attack at this site. From the site we then went and laid a cross on the women at war memorial in her memory.
We recently bought this wonderful group of AAGB items. These belonged to a Miss M B Wilford, it appears that it was found by a house clearance company and unfortunately there appears to have been more which has been split (I know at least three people have some items belonging to Miss Wilford now) It’s a shame that it didn’t stay together however still a nice lot none the less. This is the first piece of paperwork that I have addressed to a member of the AAGB, near the end of the war she seems to have been living at 310 Latymer Court, Hammersmith, W6. However it appears (from an envelope owned by someone else) that in 1943 she was living at 119 Walters Road, Swansea. It’s all a bit of a mystery and without having her whole collection I may never get to the bottom of it! Just a reminder that if you have a similar collection – or anything AAGB related we’d love to hear from you!
To continue on our series of re created photos from Leeds we need to go back to 1945. It’s late October / early November and The War is over! Up and down the country surplus AAGB vehicles are being donated to hospitals in the communities they served. Betty Bacon’s ambulance went to the Leeds General Infirmary, I have now had a chance to re create the three press photos we have of her vehicle JEV 896 being handed over to the LGI. I hope you enjoy!