renowned war photographer Robert Wilson's iconic image of currently serving women and veterans from the British military



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Rose is a 95 year old veteran originally from Leeds who now lives in Folkestone. On Thursday 2 February 1939, Rose lied about her age to join the women’s branch of the British Army named the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), at the age of 16. 

WORLD WAR TWO VETERAN ROSE WATSONShe was attached to at TA 66’ Leeds Rifles as an Orderly, which meant that she did pretty much everything from cooking, nursing, driving.

On request of her sergeant, she was later ‘elevated’ to work as a full time cook and continuing in this role, she spent the war years moving around with her battalion between various locations including Yorkshire, Scotland and Lincolnshire, where she was then demobilised at the end of the war in 1945. 

After the war, she met her husband who was a passenger on the bus she used to drive in Leeds.  He managed to persuade her to take a week off work to show her the sights of London.   They married in 1950.

Rose has always wanted to live by the sea and now resides in Folkestone.  She is an active member of the Royal Artillery Association.

Rose Watson, who served in the ATS, said:

“I was initially quite overwhelmed by being asked to be involved in the SSAFA photoshoot to celebrate the centenary of women in the military.  It has been a long time since I have dressed up in eveningwear, I almost didn’t recognise myself. 

 “It was a lovely experience and I got to meet lots of other women who are currently serving or have served in the past.”

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