Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thursday's Coffee: WWII Red Cross Clubmobile


This week on the blog we have Cara Putnam presenting her new WWII release, Shadowed by Grace. So I thought Thursday Coffee should stay in the same flavor of the week: WWII. This poster was a common advertisement for women to join the American Red Cross. By 1944, many American soldiers were stationed in Great Britain, often in rural areas far from a club or coffee shop or city. The Red Cross sent out "Clubmobiles": a single-decker bus supplied with chewing gum, cigarettes, magazines, newspapers, records, a phonograph. But the most important for morale was the Red Cross "Gals", coffee, and doughnuts! They were responsible to lift the morale and spirits of the GI's. The large vehicles rattled through village streets and down narrow muddy back allies. Below, American GI's line up for coffee handouts in London, 1941. The Red Cross "Gals" were known to wear lip stick, dance an impromptu jitterbug, listen to stories that didn't make the news, and listen while GI's showed pictures of loved ones from home. 
public domain photos: www.commons.wikimedia.org
This post is dedicated to Elizabeth Richardson, from Mishawaka, Indiana. In an article about her service in the National Archives it is reported:  "Liz never regretted her choice to go to war. 'I consider myself fortunate to be in Clubmobile--can't conceive of anything else,' she wrote her parents in Septempber 1944. 'It's a rugged and irregular and weird life, but it's wonderful. That is, as wonderful as anything can be under the circumstances.'" 

Elizabeth Richardson died July 25, 1945 when her plane went down near Paris. She was 27 years old. She is memorialized at the Normandy American Cemetery.

Stop by our blog tomorrow and hear more about Cara's story about another heroine's story from WWII. Don't forget to read yesterday's blog about how Cara got her idea for this story.

Next time you lift up a cup, remember how it can cheer. 
And remember the sacrifices others have made.
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Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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13 comments:

  1. I love this concept. In fact, a heroine in another book is supposed to be a Red Cross Clubmobile driver...

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  2. OH MY GOSH!! I SO know what I would've done if I'd been born in that era!

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    1. I know, really? I can see it now, Jaime and Anne serve the GI's on the British front.....

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  3. That is an awesome post. I never knew! I totally would have done that as well.

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  4. Hadn't heard of the Clubmobile - wonderful idea, and right "up your alley", Jaime! Thanks for the interesting post, Anne!

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    1. I think Cara will write this story. I was thrilled to find a feature article at the National Archives about it and the woman featured lived only 30min from my home.

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  5. I had never heard about the mobile coffee units. How interesting! wonder if any of my relatives had coffee at one.

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    1. Oh wow Rhonda, wouldn't that be neat to know. From the research it sounded like they were mostly in England, but I wonder if they were in Europe as well. Great question.

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    2. Hi, my name is Fano Suarez from Spain.

      Yeah, the clubmobile girls were in Europe. Actually some of them were involved in the Battle of Bulge. Recently a new documentary was made about one of this girls. If you are interested it can be seen here
      http://wqed.org/tv/specials/portraits/

      Cheers

      P.S. Excuse my bad English.

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    3. Wow Fano, that is so neat to know this. We are thrilled you found our blog and stopped by to make a comment. I hope you enjoyed it. :)

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