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"THE WOMAN WITH THE IDEAS"

Commandant Jean Knox of

the Auxiliary Territorial

Service

FROM BETTY WILSON

:' LONDON, March 19. v

COMMANDANT KNOX is thirty-three, not

thirty-"Please don't say, as some news- papers have done, that I am thirty," she says -and, although she is devoted to her home, tier husband, and her schoolgirl daughter, she feels ¿hat her love for England justifies her taking up an appointment which reduces her possessions to a suitcase and her home to a

camp.

s '"nutt sort of life wont be new to me,' she ¿aid. "I have lived like that almost continually .ince I Joined the ATJ3. In 1938 as company cotninander «1th an anti-aircraft platoon The few weeks that I have had settled in any one place were marvellously peaceful I learnt how much I loved the English countryside and to know and admire the girls in my company. It is because I love England, and because I so admire the women who threw everything to one side to Join up Wbeh they thought they were needed,

that I am so keen on start- ing this Job. Yes, it's big. It's the biggest thing I've ever tackled. But it is going to be worth it."

Senior Commandant Jean Knox will look after the wel- fare of almost 40,000 girls in her new job. She knows the organisation from A to Z; she has been company commander and senior com- mandant; has spent five weeks at a military training school as one of the first five members of the A.T.S. to do a refresher course with Army captains and majors; she was training an A.T.S. group to go to B.E.P. headquarters in France when France fell, and she has worked on the recruiting side at the War

Office. *

She would make a grand recruiting officer

| She learnt to lecture at tile refresher course

Facts and figures are woven into a background | based on a sound understanding of «omen's

psychology } *,

She believes that, rightly handled, women would

respond magnificently to an appeal for speedy

manpower.

Fight Against Bad Publicity

"T OOK at the response when the A.T.S. was -'-'formed," Mrs. Knox says. "We had to fight against appallingly bad publicity. In spite of .'. some of the finest girls in England dropped what- ever they were doing and volunteered in the ATS. Women are instinctive, not reasoning, cieatures. Tell them what would happen should England come under Nazi domination. Let them think what life would be like then. Remind them of their children. They, like all of u.s, would think it well worth giving .up the amenities of their immediate life to keep England for them."

Her direct blue eyes kindle when she talks about the A.T.S. volunteers she has worked with in the past two years. Their loyalty and comradeship are important, vital things to her.

By the time she has completed her first in- spection of A.T.S. commands, Mrs. Knox will have

i

_ I

i been in touch, directly or indirectly, with 37 000

of them. She hopes that she will be able to "fire each one with her own enthusiasm Every A.TJ3, volunteer would be an unofficial reciuiting sergeant for the service if she could talk to

them.

IFE of an R.A.F. squadron-leader and mother of a fourteen-year-old daughter, Senior Commandant Jean Knox has been appointed "ideas chief" of the

W

Auxiliary Territorial Service. She ranks as controller, with a seat on the A.T.S Council. Her new job-which has never been held by anyone before-will begin with a tour of England to take in every A.T.S. command. Findings and ideas from the new A.T.S. "ideas chief" will go straight back to the Joint Parliamentary Under-Secretaiy of State (Sir i_dward Grigg), to whom she will have a direct access. Senioi Commandant Knox becomes the youngest controller in the A.T.S. with

this appointment.

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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