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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Patricia and Robert Malcomson - Women at the Ready

reviewed live on bookshow by Maggie Perkovic 18th July 2013
This is a very very well researched and well written book about the start of this worthy organisation.
"The greatest disservice a woman can do is to consider herself useless" so spoke
Lady Reading founder of the WVS in the summer of 1938.
Women from all walks of life joined up to provide a complete and utter service for this
country.
What did they do??
Everything, from helping to place evacuee children, accompanying them and
seeing they were settled happily, rehousing bombed out families, some had lost everything,
all they had were the clothes they were wearing at the time of the explosion.
Providing meals in the most difficult circumstances imaginable.
They served bereaved families, servicemen, returned soldiers and sailors.
They gave up hours of unpaid time to serve and protect their communities.
They were there when a german bomber dropped his load on Norfolk, causing
severe damage and killing some evacuees sent there for safety. A poignant note,
arranging for the little girl's body to be sent back to London for burial, the broken
hearted parents requested she was laid to rest with her Grandparents also killed
in the East End blitz.
They managed to reunite wives and servicemen  separated by war and unable to
spend time together in their home as it had been destroyed by bombing, a cottage
was found for them
They worked tirelessly at their jobs, those that could drove miles on errands to transport
food, and people to new accommodation, from derelict buildings in the city.
No call to big, no request too small.
After the war ended, they were still helping, particularly noticeable in East Anglia when
the floods took so many lives, and swept so many houses away.
The WVS was quite incredible and quite amazing in their success at acquiring clothes
and re issuing them to the needy.
A wonderful story and very interesting to read.
They even mention a bomb in Sudbury North London which I remember as it
blew some of our windows out.
My RAF brother said he'd stay at his base in future, it was safer!!!
Much recommended!! Maggie Perkovic.

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