Page 368 - Croydon-and-the-Second-World-War

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YOUTH SERVICES
were instructed in physical training, games, first aid, morse and
similar subjects, while those who desired
it
were required to
attend courses by qualified instructors in anti-aircraft operational
duties, radio location, signals, motor driving, engineering and
electrical work, or clerical and office duties.
A further unit was formed at South Croydon later. By the
end of
1944
the Croydon W.J.A.C. had two complete bands
which took part in church and other large parades. The cadets
in the band were trained by two members of the Croydon
Borough Band who gave their services voluntarily.
vii. The Girls' Training Corps
The first unit of the Corps for girls between fourteen and
eighteen was formed in April,
1941,
by Miss K. Goldsmith,
General Secretary of the Croydon y.W.C.A. A general
syllabus was drawn up for training girls for any branch of the
Services; including Army drill and saluting, physical tr.lining,
gymnastics, first aid, sick nursing, mothercraft, cookery, morse
and wireless telegraphy, gas-mask drill, fire-fighting, map
reading, dispatch carrying and Local Government. Tb.e girls
worked as hospital orderlies and helped with canteen duty.
Four units grew and by March,
1942,
numbers had reached
between
150
and
200.
The respective units .met every Sunday
morning in Duppas School, Ashburton School, Davidson
School and on every Saturday afternoon at Winterhourne
School.
Similar units were formed meanwhile all over the cl1untry,
many following the Croydon pattern, and so great was the
general demand that a National Committee was formed to
centralize administration.
Mrs. H. Blake, who became honorary organizing sccretary
in January,
1942,
was generous enough to lend furniture and
office equipment from her own office for the new Headquarters
in George Street. She also made the gift of portraits of the
King and Queen which their Majesties had graciously signed
specially for the unit. For four years the units prospered and
were represented in all the largest parades of the Borough.
Their growth was temporarily checked on two separate oCl::-asions
when the units were closed for a short time to girls called up for
National Service, and later the flying bomb raids . caused a
suspension for two or three months. When the companies
re-formed, numbers were found to have dropped considerably.
!ndeed, the situation continued to decline, largely owing to the
lncreasing difficulty of providing uniform; and in the antumn
of
1945
the committee decided to close down the Croydon
G.T.C.