The Women's Junior Air Corps

Raised Eight Units for the W.J.A.C.

THE Women's Junior Air Corps was formed in response to the King's call  to youth to enable the girls of the country to give practical expression to, and an outlet for their patriotism to meet the strong national demand for such an organization.

Mrs. G. Getty was asked to form a group of the Corps in Sheffield, and in May, 1941, an inaugural meeting was held in the Victoria Hall. About 300 girls attended this meeting all eager for a pre-Service Corps to be formed.

The girls nominated prominent Sheffield citizens to be asked to serve on the W.J.A.C. Committee and Alderman Mrs. Longden consented to become the chairman. It was soon necessary to open units in different parts of the city. Officers volunteered to assist and spent many hours in training in order to fit themselves to lead the cadets.

Eight units were commenced and recruits continued to come forward in very large numbers. Units were started at Wisewood, Nether Green, Longley, Hucklow Road. Tinsley, Manor. Ellesmere Road and in the centre of the city.

Instruction was given in drill, physical training, first aid, nursing, aircraft recognition, signalling, cookery, map reading and a host of other subjects. The training given in the various units proved of great value to the girls entering
the Services, and in many instances quick promotion was gained.

The W.J.A.C. in Sheffield went forward from strength to strength, and the Corps welcomed Mrs. Sydney Smith, wife of Air Commodore Sydney Smith, as Divisional Commandant.

The Cadets were anxious to have their own Band and sought the help of the Divisional Commandant in this connection. In order to raise the necessary funds for the purchase of instruments Mrs. Sydney Smith organized a concert in the City Hall.

Many Cadets took part in this effort which was a great success and as a result the band instruments were obtained.
The W.J.A.C. Band quickly won the admiration of the public and the Cadets were frequently invited to play along with other bands on ceremonial parades.

After the Sheffield Blitz it was thought advisable to close the city unit and the cadets were transferred to units which met in schools where shelters were provided. The loss of the city unit was a great blow to the Corps, for this was naturally one of the largest units.

In 1942 the W.J.A.C. together with the G.N.T.C. was incorporated in the National Association of Training Corps for Girls but was allowed to retain its own title and uniform