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WRNS – Dispatch Riders

The first women in the Women’s Royal Naval Service selected for despatch duties were well know competition riders from local race circuits. This was because as well as ride, they could maintain their own machines. It was a dangerous job. When telecommunications were limited and insecure, dispatch riders were used to deliver urgent intelligence and orders between headquarters and military units all over the UK. They quickly became known for their ability to get their messages through no matter what the weather or obstacles in their way.

One particular story is of Third Officer Pamela McGeorge who was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1941. She was carrying urgent messages to the Commander-in-Chief’s office during a heavy air raid in Plymouth when a bomb exploded nearby and destroyed her motorbike. She then ran half a mile to the Admiralty House whilst high explosive and incendiary bombs fell around her, delivered her message and then volunteered to go back out again to continue her work.


Source: Women at War

(Photos: Fleet Air Arm Museum, IWM)