Bolton Remembers the War Logo
Edith Williams - ATS - Auxiliary Territorial Service / Pay Corps
Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund
Click for interview transcript
Click for image gallery
Edith Williams
Edith Hart



Edith Williams née Hart

26 July 2005

Edith was born in 1923 at Markland Hill Lane, Bolton. Her father was a lamplighter and she went to Church Road and Whitecroft Schools. She was a machinist at Chesro for Tootal Broadhurst Lee and then worked for the War effort in the weaving shed. In 1942 she volunteered for the ATS, and joined the 44th Battalion Royal Army Pay Corps, working throughout the War at Black Lane Mill, Radcliffe, which was responsible for the accounts of the Royal Engineers. By the time she was de-mobbed in 1947 she had reached the rank of Sergeant. The work was important, satisfying, and essential to the well-being of the Forces. After the War Edith went back to Chesro, where she worked until she married and started a family. Her sister, Nellie Shaw, was in the Women's Land Army.

Full text of Edith's interviewFull text of Edith's interview

pdf version - 44kpdf version - 44k

Air Raids... mp3 sound clip - 326kAir Raids... mp3 sound clip - 326k

Going to work on the train... mp3 sound clip - 183kGoing to work on the train... mp3 sound clip - 183k

Coming home in the blackout... mp3 sound clip - 175kComing home in the blackout... mp3 sound clip - 175k

Air Raids...

Actually, the only air raid I can really remember in Bolton, was in 1941, September, and I can only really remember that one because my sister had had a baby and she'd come to stay with us. And we had to get under the stairs and under the table! (laughs) That was the only time that we were in the house. I remember when they bombed the bottom of Deane, when some people were killed, because I was in the Lido with my boyfriend, and, I can't remember the comedians who were on. We heard all this... oh the air raid, the aeroplanes and everything and nobody went out of the theatre, we just sat there and watched the end of it. And then, when we were walking home, we could tell that some bombs had dropped in town. And then the only other time I can remember an air raid was when they bombed Manchester on a Sunday and we were in Church that Sunday night, and when we came out, it just looked as though Bolton was on fire, and it wasn't it was Manchester. And we'd no idea... We were in Church that night and we'd no idea so many bombs were being dropped.

Going to work on the train...

We got the train at Bolton station. When we got off, at Bury, it was - Black Lane Mill. Where did we go to? We went to Ainsworth Road and it was just a sea of khaki, because, they were coming off the trains, coming up from Manchester as well, because they were billeted at Whitefield, Radcliffe... all the stations from Bury to Manchester. The electric train ran then, and they used to come up there in droves and civilians as well. There were civilians who worked there.

Coming home in the blackout...

It wasn't too bad coming home from work. But if you'd been out at night, to, you know, dancing or whatever, because the trams were still on Chorley New Road, but we had buses on Chorley Old Road, and they stopped earlier than the trams. So if you went anywhere you had to come home on the tram, and walk all the way up Greenmount Lane, in the dark. And many a time, I walked up Greenmount Lane in the middle of the road, hoping you met nobody.