Veteran Stories:
Alice Lymburner

Air Force

  • The programme of the 'Meet the Navy' show held at London's Hippodrome in 1945 was performed by personnel of the Royal Canadian Navy, with songs 'The Boy in Bell Bottom Trousers' , 'Mutiny on the Bounty' and 'Rockettes and WRENS'.

  • An RCAF banquet celebrating one year with the Canadian Overseas Postal Depot, held at the Orchard Hotel in 1945 by the ladies of the Women's Division.

  • Alice Lymburner nee Revell and her fellow servicewomen Eve Schildemeyer working the K section of the Canadian Overseas Postal Depot Unit, while Dolly Wood stands in front of the F section, England 1945.

  • The Canadian Overseas Postal Depot camoflaged headquarters in the Brylcream Building in London, England. 1945.

  • The Queen inspects the Canadian Overseas Postal Depot section of the Royal Canadian Air Force Women's Division personnel in England, 1945.

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"We got to know everybody, and it was a great bunch to work with"

Transcript

Alice Revel. I was working with the T. Eaton Company in Woodstock when I decided to join the Air Force. And we were taken quite quickly to the Manning Pool in Toronto. And I was sent to MacDonald, Manitoba - 3B and G Gunnery School. I was there a year, where they were training gunners for the aircraft, and then was suddenly posted overseas in '43. There were two of us from MacDonald who went over together.

It was an exciting time, of course. First, we were shipped to Halifax, and then from Halifax to New York, and we were sent on the Queen Elizabeth. We landed in Scotland - Firth of Clyde. From there we were shipped to Bournemouth. And a week after being in Bournemouth we went to London, and there we joined the overseas base post office. And I was there until '45. All the mail going to Europe, or England, went through the base post office.

And, of course, there were doodlebugs and black-outs, and things like that that everybody experienced when they were there. I think your first blackout, you're trying to get around - we were right uptown in London when we experienced trying to go around in a blackout.

There were good times and bad times, and there was always somebody to go around with. Of course, it was exciting. We had to work hard. We were overwhelmed at Christmas, and had to work nights some times to get caught up with the mail.

I remember one time we were... the building had a glass roof on it, and glass windows in the front. And, of course, the doodles would come by. One time we had to all get under the table, and the lights were swinging, but the doodlebug didn't come down on us.

There were about forty girls, and we were all sent over at the same time to do the post office work. And so we were together for about two years...over two years. We got to know everybody, and it was a great bunch to work with.

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