WVS took on work for the
Armed Forces when it became a member of the Council of Volunteer War Workers,
in 1940 and established the Services Welfare Department. Most of the WVS’s work for the Armed forces was domestic including
canteens and darning socks. These services developed further in 1944 by
training WVS members to run clubs for Service Men overseas.
The NAAFI wanted WVS to run clubs for
soldiers in their barracks and the first contingency was sent to the Algiers
after the war ended. Women went to countries and continents such as: North
Africa and Italy; The Middle East; Germany; Austria; The Far East; Japan;
Korea; Cyprus; Kenya; Christmas Island; Singapore; Malaya and Hong Kong. Most of the members who went
out spent their time running the clubs but also had their own experiences which
they recorded in letters and diaries.
A member called Kathleen Thompson went to
India for 18 months to work in Deolali,
Randu and Raiputana. In 2016 the Archive received 93 letters written by
Kathleen about her time in India and this week we would like to share part of one
of those letters with you. An extra handwriting challenge for those who eagerly
await the monthly narrative Report handwriting challenge (though not as
7th March 1946 Letter no.8
Kathleen left India at the end of her contract with the
organisation in August 1947 but many more women went out to other countries as
part of Services Welfare which later included the Falklands and Canada. You can
find out more about WVS and WRVS Services Welfare on the Voices of Volunteering schools resources pages and searching Archive Online.