Service to be held for '˜Ack Ack girl' Josephine

A final farewell will be paid to a Second World War '˜Ack Ack Girl' on Monday morning.

Sunday, 2nd October 2016, 12:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:46 pm
Josephine remained proud of her war efforts, which left her deaf in one ear

Josephine Curran, who lied about her age to defend Britain from German bombing raids at the age of just 16, died last Friday at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. She was 90.

Her coffin will be draped in a Union flag before a service is held at Carleton Crematorium at 9.30am, while the Royal British Legion, amongst other veterans’ associations, will also attend.

Her daughter, Sue Shaw, 53, from Hardhorn Road in Poulton, said: “The war was always with her. She was a very proud woman.”

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Josephine, in the centre of the middle row, and her fellow 'Ack Ack Girls'

In 2005, Josephine, nee Collins, told how she joined the war effort in 1942.

She said: “I knew I was supposed to be 17 and a half but I was desperate. They gave me the forms and I took them home. At teatime that evening I gave the forms to my Dad and asked him to sign.

“My mum was very upset as all my brothers had gone and only me and my baby sister Betty were left. My Dad said that if I was daft enough to go he was daft enough to sign. He was a kind man and he was teaching me a valuable lesson… to be responsible for my own actions.”

Josephine went on to serve in Wales in the Auxillary Territorial Service (ATS) with 587 Battery.

Josephine, in the centre of the middle row, and her fellow 'Ack Ack Girls'

Her job was to help operate the AA guns, known as one of the most dangerous roles for women then, and she faced the same gruelling training as men.

She was deafened in one ear after one of the guns was hit by a bomb, and later awarded for her bravery and war efforts with several medals.