World War Two Jargon Buster

2ic

Second in Command

AES​​

Admiralty Experimental Station – outposts of the Admiralty Research Laboratory where the navy carried out research into new technology.

ASDIC

Anti-Submarine Detection – It was a British version of sonar to detect submarines underwater.

AWOL

Absent Without Leave

CA

Coast Artillery

CH

Chain Home Radar Station

CiC

Commander in Chief

DCLI

The Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry – Cornwall’s county regiment with its depot at the Victoria Barracks in Bodmin.

GPO

General Post Office

HRO

A shortwave wireless receiver manufactured by the National Radio Company of Massachusetts, USA. Its workers claimed HRO stood for Helluva Rush Order.

MI5

Military Intelligence Section 5 – responsible for security within the UK. Sometimes referred to as SS – Security Service.

POW

 Prisoner of War

RSS

Radio Security Service – originally set up to monitor illegal wireless traffic within the UK. Was then used to eavesdrop on German signals.

WLA

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.

AA

Anti-aircraft. Sometimes called ack-ack.

ARP

Air Raid Precautions

ATS

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.

BEF

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.

CASL

Coast Artillery Search Light

CHL

Chain Home Low Radar Station

CO

Commanding Officer

GOR

Gun Operations Room

HMS

His Majesty’s Ship

IO

Intelligence Officer

MI6

Military Intelligence Section 6 – responsible for intelligence gathering abroad. Sometimes referred to as SIS – Secret Intelligence Service.

RAF

Royal Air Force

WAAF

Women’s Auxiliary Air Force – established in June 1939, the women performed a wide range of duties except for aircrew.

WRNS

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.

Z Battery

A short-range rocket launcher that was used as an anti-aircraft weapon.

World War Two Money

Farthing

¼ penny, a bronze coin.

Penny

Written as 1d, a bronze coin.

Sixpence

6d, a small silver coin.

Florin

2/s, a large silver coin.

Crown

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.

Pound

£1. There were 20 shillings in a pound which was a paper note.

Halfpenny

½ penny, a bronze coin.

Threepence

3d, a small silver coin until 1945, or a nickel-brass 12 sided coin introduced in 1937.

Shilling

1/s There were 12 pennies in a shilling, a small silver coin.

Half crown

2/s6d, a large silver coin

Ten Shillings

10/s, this was a paper note.

Five Pounds

£5. This was a white paper note.

Notes then went in various denominations up to £1000 such as £5, £10, £20, £50, £100, £500.