Leslie Whateley

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Leslie Whateley
Chief Controller Leslie Violet Lucy Whateley, Cbe - Director of Ats, 1943 Art.IWMARTLD3208.jpg
Chief Controller Leslie Violet Lucy Whateley (1943): portrait by war artist Henry Lamb
Director of the Auxiliary Territorial Service
In office
Preceded by Mrs Jean Knox
Succeeded by Dame Mary Tyrwhitt

Dame Leslie Violet Lucy Evelyn Whateley, DBE, TD (née Wood; first married name Balfour; 28 January 1899 — 4 July 1987) was a Director of the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) during the Second World War.[1]

Early life[edit]

She was born on 28 January 1899, the daughter of Col. Evelyn FitzGerald Michell Wood and Lilian (née Hutton). She was the granddaughter of Field-Marshal Sir Evelyn Wood,[2] and daughter of Colonel Evelyn Wood.[3]


Whateley joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1938 and became a junior officer following training at Chelsea Barracks. She served as Deputy Director of the ATS from September 1941.[2] She was Director of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from 1951-64.

In 1948, her writings were published by Hutchinson Publishing in Melbourne entitled As thoughts survive, a monograph with a preface by the then-Princess Royal.[4]


She married, firstly, to William John Balfour, on 8 July 1922. The union ended in divorce in 1939. She married, secondly, to S/Ldr Harry Raymond Whateley, on 21 September 1939.


In June 1951, she was awarded the Territorial Efficiency Decoration (TD) for long service in the reserves.[5]

In 1965, she was awarded the Bronze Wolf, the only distinction of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, awarded by the World Scout Committee "for exceptional services to world Scouting".[citation needed]


  1. ^ London Gazette reference to Dame Leslie Whateley, DBE, london-gazette.co.uk, 28 December 1945; accessed 3 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Deputy Director Of A.T.S.". The Times. London, England. 19 September 1941. p. 7. 
  3. ^ "Mrs. Knox of ATS Resigns". Daily Mail. 22 October 1943. p. 3. 
  4. ^ Her memoir dealt with World War II and contained personal narratives about her experiences in the Army and the Auxiliary Territorial Service (211 pages; 16 leaves of plates: illustrated ports, Citation# abn89242258).
  5. ^ "(Supplement) no. 39258". The London Gazette. 12 June 1951. pp. 3285–3286. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Mrs Jean Knox
Director, Auxiliary Territorial Service
Succeeded by
Dame Mary Tyrwhitt