As part of the project, we have tracked down Newbattle veterans who received their training with us. Many were kind enough to allow us to record their memories.
Harriet Campbell originally came to Newbattle in March 1944, having just joined the ATS, but did return later in the war to undertake a Physical Training course. Harriet is originally from Hartwood, near Shotts, and travelled to Newbattle by train.
Isabella Hamilton grew up in North Queensferry and at the age of 18, unbeknownst to her parents, went along to join the ATS on her lunch break from work. She arrived at Newbattle in November 1942 to receive her initial three weeks’ training.
In 1944, Lilian Latham, who was a hairdressing apprentice at the time, was called up to join the forces. She had originally wanted to join the Wrens or the WAF but, as both were full, she signed up for the ATS instead.
Reginald Waywell was not at Newbattle as a trainee but he spent time here in 1947 as a student at the No 1 Army Formation College. He had served in the Lancashire Fusiliers and was wounded in action in Italy. On recovery, he was offered the option to return to Britain to undertake clerical work, which he accepted. He was then offered a place at the No 1 Army Formation College.
Sheila Powell was 19 years old when she signed up to join the ATS in 1945. After Sheila had a little misfortune in love as a young lady, her mother Sheila would get over her heartbreak by joining the forces.
This interview with Isabel Wilkinson is courtesy of the Imperial War Museum.
Ruby Morris was a member of staff at Newbattle Abbey from 1946 until 1947.