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15 October 2014
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WRVS Fatality

by bestruralbus(iw)

Contributed by 
bestruralbus(iw)
People in story: 
WRVS
Location of story: 
East Cowes I W
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A2885303
Contributed on: 
02 August 2004

COUNTY PRESS LETTERS RE; WVS LADY KILLED SERVING CUPPAS.

From: Tricia Kendall, District Organiser, WRVS District Office, St. Cross Lane, Newport I.W

We were delighted with the large photograph of our representative laying our wreath on Nov.11th (CP Nov.16) but would have been even more delighted if you had mentioned WRVS, as despite being the largest voluntary service in the UK, we rarely get a mention !
We lay our wreath in remembrance of the 261 members of the WRVS who were killed on duty in the Second World War and especially in remembrance of our Member Mrs. Hann of East Cowes, who was killed in the big raid on East Cowes on the night of May 4/5 1942.
She remained at her post at Samuel White’s yard providing refreshments for the firefighters from the WRVS van, which was used as a canteen, and refused to leave despite the commencement of the second air raid.
She was the only WRVS member killed on duty on the Island.

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Single Page extract, numbered 4:

I visited East and West Cowes to find out the position with regard to feeding personnel. Contacted Mr. Preston, Emergency Feeding Officer, and Mrs. Ewbank re night staff. Miss. Weeks took night staff and a considerably supply of stores to West Cowes Police Station, and I took 40 cooked suppers from the Newport British Restaurant to East Cowes PoliceStation, also urns of tea for East Cowes Rest Centre. Friday morning, arrived Newport 8 o’clock. I took breakfasts to East Cowes Police Station. Miss Weeks collected staff from West Cowes Police Station. During morning sent out approx.1,200 meals, also made arrangements for supplies during day. In the early morning a telephone call from Reading re additional C.A.B staff, who arrived in time for lunch. Eight tea urns ordered on Thursday by telegram arrived during the morning. These were hailed with joy, and all immediately filled with tea and despatched. Attended funeral of Mayor’s son during afternoon at special request. Returned to office and dealt with Police suppers. Relief staffs were arranged from every area to assist at East Cowes Rest Centre, and also relief C.A.B staffs.
All day Saturday collected containers and cleared up and arranged for decentralisation. Took Police Suppers to East Cowes. On Sunday afternoon received an urgent call to West Cowes owing to report of rumours. Monday morning arranged for broadcast to contradict this.

Remainder of page fragmented and illegible.

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LETTER FROM WRVS , NORTHWOOD HOUSE , COWES I W 6th October 1942

Dear Mrs. Needham,

The Blitz seems a long time ago and details fade from one’s mind so quickly that I am not quite sure if I have covered all the ground you want in your letter of Sept.25th :

DUTIES undertaken by us here were: Rest Centre work, care of Old Age Pensioners who would remain in a shelter rather than enter a Rest Centre, Feeding, Distribution of Stores, Clothing both new and second hand, Billeting, Postal messages, Telegrams, Inquiries for casualties, in fact inquiries of every description.

Personnel — 3 worked solidly for seven days.

Rest Centre Personnel —

Trinity Rest and Feeding Centre: 11 people worked for 5 days in shifts.
Victoria Rest Centre: 7 people worked for two days.
St. Faith’s: 4 for the night — time bomb stopped further activities.
Northwood, Newport Rd. Rest Centre: 6 people worked for 3 or 4 days.
Northwood Rural Area: 7 people worked for 3 days, completely cut off from outside help.
Gurnard: 7 people worked for 2 days.
Bernard Road: Completely out of action.
Salvation Army: Took charge for a fortnight of people who did not want to sleep at home.

FEEDING: As all feeding arrangements in the town had broken down it was undertaken by us at Trinity Rest Centre for 5 days, after which British Restaurant took over with help from our people. Food was prepared at our Emergency kitchen by 6 helpers for 5 days. The Police were fed by us and their station staffed for 24 hours. Four people took tea and sandwiches to 100-150 men daily. 7 women at Gurnard fed 4 Post Office workers, breakfast and supper for 6 weeks. One mobile canteen was brought in the morning after the raid and attached to Victoria Road.

CLOTHING Six clothing assistants tackled the new and second hand clothing.

OFFICE was undertaken by one full time worker, 4 part time assistants and 1 full time CAB assistant came from Gosport for 3 days. The Billeting Officer was helped by about 6 people.

TOTAL 71 helpers.

Personnel who took part number many more, of whom we have no record, doing 2 — 3 hours at a time. Full personnel minus, Housewives: 281

OFFICE was undertaken by one full time worker, 4 part time assistants and 1 full time CAB assistant came from Gosport for 3 days. The Billeting Officer was helped by about 6 people.

TOTAL 71 helpers.

Personnel who took part number many more, of whom we have no record, doing 2 — 3 hours at a time. Full personnel minus, Housewives: 281

Yours sincerely,

Signed: E>Wall, Centre Organiser.

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Air Raids and Other Bombing Category
Women's Volunteer Groups Category
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