Illston on the Hill WI – Mar ’24

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Member Rhena Sturgess addressed the Illston on the Hill WI members in a gathering of a bygone era.

Rhena delved into the extraordinary contributions of women during World War II. With reverence and a touch of nostalgia and comedy, our monthly meet up transformed into a heartfelt tribute to the unsung heroines who played pivotal roles in shaping the course of history.

We heard tales of courage, resilience and the indomitable spirit of women during wartime. Each story painting a vivid picture of the diverse roles these remarkable ladies undertook. How they provided for their families (with the menfolk away) one egg per week for the family, and 2 oz of butter and tea for each family member per week. No wonder the black market did so well.

One family had an Anderson shelter at the bottom of their garden which got flooded and when the sirens blared out the family ran to the shelter in their pyjamas and wellies. After a while they reverted to staying in the house, under the table with saucepans over their heads!

Wartime Heroines

In their own quiet yet impactful way, these ladies became the backbone of wartime efforts. The camaraderie among our members mirrored the solidarity that these women shared during those challenging times.

We carry the echoes of the past – a reminder of the strength that lies within every woman, both then and now. Here’s to the ladies of valour, the unsung heroines of World War II and the timeless spirit of resilience that unites us all in the tapestry of history.

Thank you, Rhena – ably assisted by Kathy. Thank you also to the refreshment ladies whose cakes were considerably better than wartime cakes made without eggs!

Our next meeting on Thursday 14 March at 7.30pm is ‘Lindyhop’. All visitors welcome at Illston Village Hall.

Jane Shute