TR011 HRH Princess Elizabeth (ATS)
This reissued K&C figure portrays the Queen as the young Princess Elizabeth in parade uniform standing proudly at attention and saluting.
When Princess Elizabeth turned 18 in 1944, she requested her father, King George VI, allow her to join the Auxiliary Transport Service (the ATS).
This was the women’s branch of the British Army. Since the outbreak of WW2 Britain had conscripted many young women to join the war effort.
Unmarried women under 30 had to join the armed forces or work on the land or in any of the country’s war industries. The King agreed to his eldest daughter’s request with the proviso that she was not to be given any special rank or privileges while serving.
The Princess began, after initial training, as a ‘second subaltern’ and eventually was promoted to ‘junior commander’, the equivalent of an army captain.
While undergoing training as a vehicle mechanic she took driving and engine maintenance courses and proved to be an apt pupil and willing participant.
By the end of WW2 there were over 200,000 women serving in the ATS at both home and abroad in many theaters of war.
To the end of her long life the Queen was intensely proud of her wartime service in the ATS and was known to occasionally diagnose and even repair a faulty engine as she had been taught to do during her service career so many years before.