Archive of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Princess Royal’s Volunteer Corps). The FANY is a thriving organisation which provides support to civil and military authorities within London during a major event, incident, or in planning and exercise roles, so as to protect life and relieve human suffering.
The FANY is an all female voluntary association, on call 24/7. FANYs are resourceful and unique women who come from all walks of life and are united in their aim to be of service in whatever capacity is asked of them. Founded in 1907, the FANYs were originally meant to form a small unit of nurses on horseback to provide a link between the battlefield and the field hospitals.
In the Great War they drove ambulance convoys in Flanders and France, and ran field hospitals on the battlefields. In the Second World War, some 4,000 served with the Special Operations Executive and Auxiliary Territorial Service as agents, drivers, coders, signallers and support staff. Until 2005, they provided an integral part of highly sensitive plans which formed part of the “Machinery of Government of War”, an operation which evolved at the commencement of the Cold War.
The Corps’ role continues to evolve as perceived needs change.