A WESTON woman was among the people recruited to work on charts and publications for the D-Day Landings.

On June 6 Doris Cox was presented with a book she appears in, called “Churchill’s Secret Chart Makers”, by the author and Rear Admiral Tim Lowe CBE, a retired chief executive of the department’s successor organisation, the UK Hydrographic Office.

80 years ago the Admiralty’s Hydrographic Department in Bath and Taunton bore the lion’s share of the work of providing Allied forces with an unprecedented number of charts and publications for navigation purposes.

It was staffed by hundreds of local people, printers from London and Scotland, ladies from the Ealing School of Art, who were recruited to work in this brand-new, top-secret facility.

One of those members of staff in Taunton was Doris, a nonagenarian from Weston.

In order to produce anywhere from five to seven million charts per year the Department needed to expand.

Thus premises in Exeter were requisitioned, whilst a new purpose-built chart-making factory was constructed at a top-secret location in the country in Taunton.

This unique factory, designed in the art-deco style down to the very last detail by Cyril Jowsey, was fully operational by June 1941.

The department's finest hour was undoubtedly the design, manufacturer, and dispatch of over 450,000 charts for the D-Day Landings.

Sadly only 12 out of the 1100 civilians in the department who undertook war work received any formal award for their outstanding efforts.

This was not unusual, although, in my opinion, regrettable. When the war was over many of the staff were no longer required, like Doris, and had to find new jobs.

Many had been pushed to breaking points through the requirements for D-Day.

In May this year, I self-published the story of the trials and tribulations of the staff just in time for the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

This book is dedicated to all of those wartime staff who received no recognition for their tremendous efforts, which provided charts for civilian and military purposes during the war.