The Royal Observer Corps Story – A Hidden Gem of World War II



A single of the concealed gems of the Second Globe War is the tale of how regional volunteers looking at the skies previously mentioned England, Scotland and Wales helped saved several lives and introduced about a adjust of fortune for the beleagured RAF.

Shaped in 1925 in the South East of England, and expanded to protect more of the region during the thirties, the Observer Corps acted as the “Eyes and Ears of the RAF”. Observer Corps posts were sited in all kinds of notable positions, usually on top rated of hills, so that the Observers could get great all spherical vision, and be able to place any plane. The Corps plotted the actions of all plane in the skies above wartime Britain, buddy or foe, enabling the minimal assets of a battered Royal Air Pressure to triumph above Hitler’s Luftwaffe. The Corps’ contribution in the Fight of Britain was so substantial that it was recognised with the award of its Royal title.

The function of the Corps ongoing during the war, preserving several lives with the early warning of air attacks, but several associates of the Corps were keen to be more included with exercise nearer to the action. When the simply call was made for volunteers to sign up for gun crews onboard defensively geared up service provider ships, 1400 males volunteered. These that handed the rigourous instruction and screening were acknowledged as Seaborne Observers, and were included in Operation Overlord, preserving several plane from “pleasant fire”.

In the system of filming two video clip documentaries about the Royal Observer Corps, “Tocsin Bang” (about the Cold War nuclear reporting position the Corps experienced) and its prequel “Sentinels of Britain” (the wartime tale), we fulfilled several truly fascinating people, and listened to abundant intriguing tales! It is easy to neglect that all people we have spoken to about their involvement in the wartime function of the Corps were involving 16 and 25 at the time!

Monthly bill Harford, who was on the Mevagissey Publish in Cornwall explained to us,

“In 1942 I was a school boy at grammar school, and I was incredibly, incredibly keen on plane recognition and I came to sign up for the Royal Observer Corps truly by any person listening on the bus to what I was stating as we were heading to school, and noted it to the regional Chief Observer, ‘there is a boy on the bus who is amazing at plane recognition!'”

Joyce Shrubbs, a plotter and teller at the Bedford Centre provides,

“I imagine like each other young man or woman I preferred to sign up for the Companies and I preferred to be in a uniform and feel that I was that I performing my section for the region. I was significantly interested in the Womens’ Auxiliary Airforce, but you experienced to be 18 to do that, so when I noticed an advert in the regional store window, there was this large advertisement, ‘Join the Royal Observer Corps and stay at home’, and you only experienced to be 17 and my seventeenth birthday was coming up so I considered which is for me. The uniform was the very same color as the Womans’ Auxiliary Airforce and very same model and almost everything I just considered this is what I require to do. So I went along and joined in fact on my seventeenth birthday. It did choose an agonizing 10 days for it to be formalised but I did in fact begin on my birthday.”

“Sentinels of Britain” is the wartime tale of the Royal Observer Corps, explained to by its associates, the Observers who were there.


Supply by Andrew Denyer

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