Talk of NAAFI, YMCA & the wonderful SALLY ANN

Discussion in 'Veteran Accounts' started by Ron Goldstein, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Life in the Forces was always made just that more civilised by the actions of these three wonderful organisations.

    Yes, I know there were others and I can even remember having coffee and doughnuts once supplied in Cassino by the American Red Cross but the three support organisations named in the title were the ones that I would now wish to pay homage to.

    I think it was the the Sally Ann that I first discovered during my twelve weeks at Whitby. Completely manned by volunteers you could always rely on friendly service.

    The Training Wing cookhouses served their main meal at midday and apart from a dixie of tea and sandwiches served at about 6pm we were left to our own devices for food and drink in the evenings.

    The Sally Ann (The Salvation Army) , situated in a church near the sea-front served the cheapest and best food in town and I used to go there almost every evening.

    I can still remember my first visit.

    We had just queued for self service and I spotted that the chap in front of me had just received his plate of egg & chips. I also noted that the eggs on his plate were possibly the smallest eggs I had ever seen.

    No problem, I thought, I'll order three eggs & chips (I was a growing lad in those days).

    Within minutes they were on my tray.

    Three separate plates of eggs & chips and I was too embarressed to admit my mistake so I took them back to my table and ate them one by one to the obvious mystification of the chaps who shared my table.

    Sixty-eight years later, my wife knows that if anyone comes to the door late at night the only ones she must never turn away empty-handed is the Sally Ann.

    More on the other service canteens as I remember them and lots of memories, I hope, from others who enjoyed their benefits.

    I wrote previously about Whitby here: BBC - WW2 People's War - Training To Be A Driver/Wireless Operator
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
  2. marcus69x

    marcus69x I love WW2 meah!!!

    Three separate plates of eggs & chips and I was too embarressed to admit my mistake so I took them back to my table and ate them one by one to the obvious mystification of the chaps who shared my table.



    :lol:, quality Ron.

    Cheers.
     
  3. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    In Italy, many months would often be spent in the line without access to places like a NAAFI store.

    The Army, ever resourceful, would buy stuff on our behalf and once a week, usually with our mail, up would come our "NAAFI Ration"

    This would consist of things like 100 cigarettes, a chocolate bar, two bottles of beer and various other goodies that I have simply forgotten (perhaps other will remind me ?)

    Apart from the NAAFI ration, there was also something known as "Free Issue" and that was always a tin of 50 cigarettes, hermatically sealed so that they kept fresh.

    NAAFIs were usually set up in most of the major towns and if we were lucky enough to get a day leave then we would automatically find our way there not only for a cheap meal but also to stock up with items such as stationery, razor blades and, believe it or not, Blanco which was not supplied by the Army :(
     
  4. Driver-op

    Driver-op WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    In the early days in Normandy we were in a field which was shelled daily, said to be due to us being under German observation. One day a blue van drove in, parked behind a clump of trees and started serving tea and a wad - it was the Church Army. Brilliant stuff, did us a power of good to think someone cared.

    Jim
     
  5. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    In the post today was an appeal for the work the Sally Ann does for the homeless so I phoned them to give a small donation.

    When the young girl had taken all my details I said "Just for the record, you're speaking to a ww2 veteran who always appreciated the work that your mob did in ww2 and this is simply payback time"

    She then implied I'd made her day but actually, she'd just made mine !

    Ron
     
    Shiny 9th and kopite like this.

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