Katy holds a B. She earned a B. Their son Fitz is an 8th grader at St. She is currently working on a project that marries her marketing and cooking experience.
Florrie Widger was born 90 years ago no secret, because she had a lovely big 90th birthday party in the Community Hall in June in Chilcompton in Somerset as Sylvia Florence May Honebon. She had a brother and sister and by they were living in Weymouth where her father worked for the Royal Navy checking torpedoes.
Florrie was really a country girl. Standing on dirt floors, the girls had to rise early to light fires to boil kettles and start field ovens to make cakes for the RAF boys in the camp.
Water had to be collected from a standpipe and all washing, both personal and for the kitchens, had to be done in a bowl with water heated on the fire. Primitive indeed, but the girls had fun and enjoyed the company of the brave and lovely flying boys.
Their dress consisted of pale blue overalls and cap, later this changed to maroon, but when they were travelling they had to wear an army uniform to establish their credentials. Although there was always a mess on the camp, the servicemen would come off shift wanting a cup of tea and a bun and a chance to chat to the girls.
The NAAFI would put on evening entertainments, sing-alongs to a piano or sometimes a filmstar, comedian or music hall artist would come to join them. It was all calculated to boost morale. The NAAFI had over canteens on ships and mobile canteens as well as the establishments at the camps.
The kitchens served drinks and snacks and the shops sold all the usual items found in a traditional village shop. Unbelievably during the course of the war they sold trillion cigarettes that is about 24 million a day.
Florrie was mostly assigned to RAF camps and only once to an army camp. They still had to be up at 6 to clean the flues as the coal they were using blocked the flue so the fire would not light.
This was the first job before they could start the ovens and boil the water for the urns. Earning about three pounds a week they would often still be washing up at midnight, but as Florrie said, they were young and strong and it was their contribution to the war effort.
Next she went to an American camp where she first saw a load of black people. She was amazed that some of the white Americans were not very nice to these lads, but the NAAFI girls found them friendly and, of course, homesick as all the lads were.
The Yanks used to come into the kitchens and sit down to help the girls peel the potatoes or do other chores and were always willing to give them a lift into town in their jeeps or lorries. The men would sometimes bring their tin helmets to the counter and ask Florrie to fill them up with cakes!
NAAFI did not aim to make a profit — they were working solely for the convenience and comfort of the troops.
There was great excitement when the Americans brought in a couple of truckloads of chocolate — there was practically a riot as the men clamoured for their share and they were rationed to two bars each. She went to Calne in Wiltshire where she became a manageress in charge of ordering the food but still having to work hard on the menial chores, she remembers having to scrub every possible surface!
Other postings followed but as the war came to an end the NAAFI scaled down their staff and it was then that Florrie was sent abroad to Fontainebleau in France.
Here she was working in luxury, everything was electric and the lovely modern U. Florrie and her friends would go to Paris during their leave where they drank champagne, although Florrie thought it tasted just like glorified cider. They would walk in the forests round Fontainebleau and she vividly remembers the incredible noise made by the croaking of the frogs.
After 2 or 3 years in France to Trieste in Italy her very favourite posting of all near the Yugoslav borders, lovely weather but very strong winds. Her last continental posting was to Austria. When Queen Elizabeth was crowned, she was one of two girls chosen to come back to help man the NAAFI station set up to feed all the troops on parade.
Afterwards she joined the crowds outside Buckingham Palace but has no clear recollection of where she slept that night — on a floor somewhere she thought!
Here she met and married Tom Widger and in they bought the newly built bungalow in Rose Lane where she still lives. Florrie has a nephew William who works in Denmark but once a month he and his wife Mary Ann come back to visit, take her shopping and so on.The-Procrastination-Station is an avid fanfiction reader and an active particpant in the world of fandom.
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St. Catherine’s community enjoys SpiritFest On October 1, the entire St. Catherine’s community came together in the spirit of camaraderie, competition and fun at the annual SpiritFest.