Jane Eldridge 1 - One was awfully proud if you had green buttons
Name: Jane Eldridge
Rank: 3rd Officer
Service: 1941 - 1945
Jane Eldridge served in the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) from 1941 to 1945. She was a Cypher Officer. Cypher Officers and Coders were one of the few WRNS branches allowed to work and travel onboard ships. Jane sailed on the Queen Mary and HMS Renown when they carried Churchill and his Chiefs of Staff to wartime conferences. Jane's job was to cypher and decypher messages to and from these important passengers.
In the clip below Jane recalls the change in uniform once she became an Officer, and the prestige that went with having green buttons.
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Extract Text (Duration0.25)
Once you got your commission then you went in to the suits with the brass buttons, and the great thing about that was, your brass, it sounds so silly now, was that they should be green, which meant you'd been near the sea or you'd been to sea. Because your brass, you know, the naval buttons they used to go sort of green, they weren't very bright, and so one was awfully proud if you had slightly green buttons.
One was awfully proud if you had green buttons
0.25 mins - mp3 File
Yes, monster, that was the code name
0.31 mins - mp3 File
The ballroom, that was our meeting place
1.03 mins - mp3 File
They gave you a ship?s biscuit
0.21 mins - mp3 File
You had to have special seawater soap
1.36 mins - mp3 File
You had to have a commission to cypher
0.34 mins - mp3 File