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On The Home Front
The People and Parish of North Mymms 1939-45

Published by the North Mymms Local History Society

Chapter Six - Keeping Busy on the Home Front

Chapter Seven - The North Mymms Auxiliary Hospital

Women working on the land
Many women helped on the farms during the war years

The civilians in the parish were by no means idle during the war. The ladies of the Women's Institute and working parties worked very hard.

Miss Chapman was elected President of the Women's Institute in place of Mrs D'Arcy Evans in January 1940 and 8.9s was raised by whist drives held at the Men's Institute to be used to send comfort to the North Mymms men serving in the forces.

It was reported in the September 1940 parish magazine that a committee had been formed to arrange for the community jam-making in the village. In November 1940 it was announced 800lbs had been made.

In the same month the formation of the Welfare Committee of the County Troops was announced. This was to provide comforts, games etc. for them during the winter. Funds were urgently needed and the Vicar asked for donations to be forwarded to him.

The enthusiastic working party consisted mainly of members of the Women's Institute and was held every Friday at Potterells Farm by invitation of Mrs Crawford. It had only been in existence for a few months but by March 1941, 472 garments had already been completed for His Majesty's Forces and forwarded.

Jam making continued apace. In 1941 a sub-committee was formed to assist on carrying out the arrangements for jam-making and fruit bottling. Mrs Todd of Welham Manor, offered the use of her large kitchen for this. The fruit had to be grown in the district and be of good condition. The prices paid were fixed by the government.

Among the lectures the Women's Institute attended was one by Dr Shepherd on infant welfare which concluded with some helpful hints, on the feeding of young children in these difficult times.

The First Aid Post at Welham Green was manned night and morning. Volunteers were needed in 1941 to deal with incendiary bombs. A number of Women's Institute members expressed their willingness to volunteer and they decided to ask for a demonstration in the use of stirrup pumps and for a practice drill in the working of them.

Mrs Murphy of 14, Bradmore Way was appointed National Savings representative for the Brookmans Park area in 1940.

The Red Cross was thriving organisation and many fetes were held to raise funds for them. The total raised in North Mymms was 6,868.1s.9d.

At five to two just before a Red Cross fete was due to be opened at Fairwinds, a bomb landed on the cricket field at Waterend. Mrs Burns and others dived under the tables on the lawn for protection.

Mr Crawford at Potterells had a donkey for his daughters and every time there was a sale for the Red Cross anywhere within a few miles, he would take the donkey to sell, it would upset his daughters very much but he would always buy the donkey back himself and raised a great deal of money.

There were whist drives, dances, collections (one by a St. Bernard dog at the Bank Holiday fete 1943) competitions, and jumble sales. Social events were organised by ARP Post and Potterells. Postcard views of North Mymms Park were sold.

Mrs Burns had in a storeroom a number of lengths of material and Dorothy Colville made these into knitting bags and her husband Dick made the rods for insertion into the top. One bag was sold to Queen Mary. During 1942/43, 81.12s.6d. was raised from the sale of them.

In December 1941, a party of men from North Mymms Park Convalescent Hospital was entertained at a Whist Drive by the members of the Potterells Farm Knitting Party at the Men's Institute.' Prizes were given by local trades people and the proceeds were sent to the hospital for extra comforts at Christmas.

On The Home Front - The People and Parish of North Mymms 1935-45
Index - On The Home Front
Chapter One - A Message From The Vicar
Chapter Two - The Special Constabulary
Chapter Three - The War Comes Home - Parish Bomb Damage
Chapter Four - The Auxiliary Fire Service
Chapter Five - Children in the Parish
Chapter Six - Keeping Busy on the Home Front
Chapter Seven - The North Mymms Auxiliary Hospital
Chapter Eight - The Secret Visitors
Chapter Nine - Church and People
Chapter Ten - Epilogue
Chapter Eleven - People
North Mymms Parish Magazine
Crockford's Clerical Directory 1939
Who's Who 1988
North Mymms Auxiliary Hospital 1940-46: A brief description by H.M.Alderman
Who Was Who (various years)
Note: Many thanks are due to Dick Colville and Leslie Abbott for allowing their reminiscences of the war years in the parish to be published. Also to Mr Colville for allowing the essay by his wife Dorothy to be reproduced. The North Mymms Local History Society

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