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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Girl Guides helping the War effort

by Braintree Library

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Archive List > United Kingdom > Surrey

Contributed by 
Braintree Library
People in story: 
G. Lane
Location of story: 
Coulsdon, Surrey
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
25 October 2004

Girl Guide companies everywhere were involved in national or local activities to help the war effort. At one point we joined in laying a mile of pennies along the main road between Coulsdon and Purley (in Surrey) for the Spitfire Fund.

On two occasions we camped out on farms to help with stooking - propping up bundles of corn, wheat or barley which were heavy and prickly and left us with bits in our hair and clothes. Washing facilities were basic so we itched for a whole week but were happy to escape parental control and to go again the next year. In the second year we had bell tents borrowed from the Boy Scouts which leaked, so we ended up huddled together in the only dry space. I do remember sitting under a glorious full harvest moon, so we must have been late to bed snce double summer time made the evenings very long.

Schools also played a part - we saved for National Savings Certificates with a target of raising enough to fund a Spitfire. We knitted endless khaki or navy scarves, mittens, socks and coloured squares to be assembled as blankets for those who had been left homeless. Newspapers were collected with the Scouts (this was a very popular activity) using their cart for what purpose I cannot recall - possibly for recycling and compressing into fuel to save fuel.

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