Woman of the Week, Miss Edith Alderdice, Evening Telegram, 1946, January 12, p. 8
Miss Edith Alderdice, daughter of the late Hon. F. C. Alderdice, and Mrs. Alderdice spent five years overseas with the Royal Army Service Corps. During this time, although her work was always with the Supply and Transport she was posted about a great deal.
“This varied the work,” she said. “One met many more people and saw more of the country, and it was so interesting in that way.”
In 1941 Miss Alderdice was commissioned, and was an adjutant until 1943, when she was promoted to the rank of Junior Commissioner, a rank corresponding to that of Captain.
“It was in anti-aircraft,” she said, “and our job was to keep supplies on the move to the gun sights. Our girls drove the staff cars for the various headquarters, we drove the ambulances, the drove for the medical officers and camp reception stations. And we drove heavy three-ton lorries loaded with rations or ammunition.”
“Of course,” she continued, “officers had no on and off duties, so to speak. Sometimes there would be a great many convoys going out and many of our girls were detailed with them. Ours was the responsibility of staging and rationing.”
“Strangely enough,” Miss Alderdice laughed, “whenever I went, I found myself posted in a seaport. They must have known I came from a seafaring country.”
Miss Alderdice was first posted at Belfast, then Bristol, and Cardiff. Her next chance [sic] was to the Midlands, just outside Birmingham and she was on the East Coast in the days when V2 rocket bombs were plastering the coast.
“A great many girls after D-Day,” she continued, “went over with the British Liberation Army. At first, to our great disappointment, we weren’t allowed overseas as a mixed unit, as there were no facilities for us. Many girls, however, went independently. When we were disbanded, we were sent to the East Coast, where most of the gun sites were sent. It was just outside Ipswich.”
“The last two months I spent in London, which was what I had been wanting all along. I’d been posted from the North of Scotland to the South of England, but never in London. Not that it really mattered, since I couldn’t be posted anywhere near home.”
When asked if she had been through many raids, Miss Alderdice nodded.
“I suppose really we were in a great deal,” she admitted, “mostly spasmodic raids and bombings. You see, we had to be near the gun sites, in order to service them. Cardiff and Bristol had some very bad raids, and so had Belfast in the early days.”
Miss Alderdice is keenly interested in social services work, although she insists that right now she wants to do nothing but relax.
She paid a glowing tribute to the English civilians.
“There were no complaints,” she said, “no matter how hard things got. Women and children, as husbands were away, were often left wondering about homeless, seeking a Knights shelter. But they kept their sense of humor through it all, and carried on. They are doing the same today, when in some respects, life is even harder than it was. They are certainly a wonderful people.”