World War Two Jargon Buster
Second in Command
Anti-aircraft. Sometimes called ack-ack.
Admiralty Experimental Station – outposts of the Admiralty Research Laboratory where the navy carried out research into new technology.
Air Raid Precautions
Anti-Submarine Detection – It was a British version of sonar to detect submarines underwater.
Absent Without Leave
Auxiliary Territorial Service. Formed in September 1938, women were barred from combat duties but as the war progressed became part of AA Gun Battery crews operating radar and cinetheodolites.
British Expeditionary Force – the British army sent to France and Belgium in 1939 and evacuated in 1940 in Operation Dynamo from Dunkirk and Operations Ariel and Cycle from the ports of Normandy and Brittany.
Coast Artillery Search Light
Chain Home Radar Station
Chain Home Low Radar Station
Commander in Chief
The Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry – Cornwall’s county regiment with its depot at the Victoria Barracks in Bodmin.
Gun Operations Room
General Post Office
His Majesty’s Ship
A shortwave wireless receiver manufactured by the National Radio Company of Massachusetts, USA. Its workers claimed HRO stood for Helluva Rush Order.
Military Intelligence Section 5 – responsible for security within the UK. Sometimes referred to as SS – Security Service.
Military Intelligence Section 6 – responsible for intelligence gathering abroad. Sometimes referred to as SIS – Secret Intelligence Service.
Prisoner of War
Royal Air Force
Radio Security Service – originally set up to monitor illegal wireless traffic within the UK. Was then used to eavesdrop on German signals.
Women’s Auxiliary Air Force – established in June 1939, the women performed a wide range of duties except for aircrew.
Women’s Land Army – Reformed in June 1939 after being disbanded at the end of World War One, the Land Girls worked on farms to release men for the fighting forces.
Women’s Royal Naval Service. Sometimes called Wrens. Revived in 1939 having been disbanded in 1919, the women performed a wide range of shore-based activities.
A short-range rocket launcher that was used as an anti-aircraft weapon.
World War Two Money
¼ penny, a bronze coin.
½ penny, a bronze coin.
Written as 1d, a bronze coin.
6d, a small silver coin.
3d, a small silver coin until 1945, or a nickel-brass 12 sided coin introduced in 1937.
1/s There were 12 pennies in a shilling, a small silver coin.
2/s, a large silver coin.
2/s6d, a large silver coin
5/s, a large silver coin. This was nicknamed the dollar by US troops as that was its worth in the exchange rate in the 1940s.
10/s, this was a paper note.
£1. There were 20 shillings in a pound which was a paper note.
£5. This was a white paper note.
Notes then went in various denominations up to £1000 such as £5, £10, £20, £50, £100, £500.