Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Audio: WRNS with a Link to Combined Operations

Vivia Emily Stewart and Nora Oliver

Vivia Stewart (centre) and two Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS)
comrades, Dunoon, Scotland, 1943. Photo Credit - Vivia Stewart

Introduction: One will find hundreds of audio files related to the experiences of men and women associated with many branches of Canadian Armed Forces and Canadian organizations (e.g., Red Cross, CWAC, etc.) at The Memory Project. Most audio files are accompanied by authentic WW2 photos and a written transcript. 

The two audio files presented here relate to two women in jobs related to the Combined Operations organization, and in it would have crossed paths with Canadians in the same organization.

Please link to the audio file that recalls the memories of Vivia Emily Stewart.

Vivia was stationed with Combined Operations in Greenock, Scotland in the early days of WW2 and the first Canadians in Combined Ops arrived on the scene aboard the Volendam, a Dutch liner, in early 1942. She tells us she met her future husband there, John Stewart, a member of the Royal Canadian Navy.

As well, please link to the audio file that recalls the memories of Nora Oliver.

In her audio transcript we read:

"I went and did six-weeks training and then was fortunate enough to be posted to Lord Louis Mountbatten’s headquarters in London, where he was the Chief of Combined Operations. I stayed there until such time that he was moving on when he was made Supreme Allied Commander [of] Southeast Asia...."

She later moves to another position with Combined Ops in Delhi, India, again with Lord Louis Mountbatten and says, "....No sooner got settled in when Mountbatten could see that the Japanese were planning to invade and so we moved then down to what we knew as Ceylon but Sri Lanka now."

Nora married Mr. Oliver (a Canadian) after many years of correspondence and tells about her arrangements to come to Canada.

Portrait of Nora Oliver after she enlisted in WRNS
in December 1943. Photo Credit - Nora Oliver

Please link to Audio: Robert Stirling Recalls a Wet, D-Day Landing

Unattributed Photos GH

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