Many moons ago I went to an event where there was a bloke there who invented the suitcase radio set (SOE) and with him was a real old FANY and they were chatting away, as I was in uniform I butted in and it turned out that when this bloke was in France the old girl was in contact back over here, I've got a cracking pic of the three of us, top people they were,
This page has a brief history of the FANY Corps. Please use the menu on the left to explore the history section.
How did we start ?
THE FIRST AID NURSING YEOMANRY (FANY) was created in 1907 as a first aid link between front-line fighting units and the field hospitals.
During the First World War, FANYs ran field hospitals, drove ambulances and set up soup kitchens and troop canteens, often under highly dangerous conditions. By the Armistice, they had been awarded many decorations for bravery, including 17 Military Medals, 1 Legion d'Honneur and 27 Croix de Guerre.
At the outbreak of the Second World War, the Corps was called upon to form the nucleus of the Motor Driver Companies of the ATS. Another section was attached to the Polish Army, and a Kenyan unit formed in 1935 also joined the war effort. A spirit of independence led others to join the FANY in the Special Operations Executive.
These women worked on coding and signals, acted as conductors for agents and provided administration and technical support for the Special Training Schools. Their work was top secret and often highly skilled. Members operated in several theatres of war, including North Africa, Italy, India and the Far East.
Many of the female agents sent by SOE to France were commissioned into the Corps. Twelve died in concentration camps. Three of these courageous women - Odette Hallowes, Violette Szabo and Noor lnayat Khan - were awarded the George Cross, the last two posthumously.
(Pictured: Odette Hallowes GC, MBE, Chevalier de Legion d'Honneur)
In all 54 names are recorded on the FANY memorial at St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, London.
Since the war, the Corps has been known chiefly for its work in the field of military and civil communications, a legacy of its distinguished wartime record.
In 1999, the FANY was officially renamed the Princess Royal's Volunteer Corps (PRVC), and it is now known as FANY(PRVC).
I once got chatting to one of their senior officers at a TA drinks party and she said if I wanted to know more I should log into their website: "But make sure you only type in one 'n'", she added, "or you'll find yourself on a pornsite." First class.