Monica Littleboy was a First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) ambulance driver based on the Isle of Wight during the D-Day landings in June 1944. In this extract from her journal, she describes the invasion fleet, hearing the bombardment, and how she ‘knew before any radio announced it that we had our feet in France’.
Ms journal (24pp) kept during her service as an ambulance driver with the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, from 29 May - 16 June 1944 when she was based on the Isle of Wight, then an advanced base for Normandy bound troops and the location of a major casualty clearing station for the wounded. The journal provides an interesting perspective on the D Day landings and their aftermath and the entries vividly convey the atmosphere of tension and excitement on the island and in the South of England in the build up to the invasion. The journal is accompanied by an ms memoir (45pp) covering her service in the Women's Land Army (1939-1940), in the WAAF as a Plotting and Special Duties Clerk in the Operations Room at RAF Pembrey in South Wales (1940 - ? 1941), and finally in the FANY, describing her training in London and Dorset and her postings to Sherborne, Blandford and numerous other locations within Southern Command and in May 1944 to the Isle of Wight, where she remained throughout the period of the Normandy landings before being transferred to Bristol towards the end of 1944 for lighter duties. The remainder of the memoir covers her marriage to a pre war boyfriend who had spent over three years as a prisoner of war in the Far East, and she describes in moving terms her initial shock at the physical changes in him and her efforts over the years to cope with the long term psychological damage caused by his years in captivity.