The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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London, England—The train left soon after nine yesterday morning and Mrs. Churchill was our hostess. She was charming as always, and interested in everything we saw, but I imagine that so much of it must be familiar to her that she will be relieved when she doesnot feel responsible for me!

Our first stop was Canterbury, where the Mayor met us with the Lady Mayoress, and we drove through the narrow main street which I remembered so well. On every side there were evidences of the severe bombing to which Canterbury has been subjected.

We got out of the car at the Archway leading to the Cathedral grounds and there Lady Reading introduced me to some of the WVS people, who were there in full force with every possible type of mobile canteen. They had canteens which had been sent from the United States. Others which had come from Canada, one belonging to the Church army, one to the Christian Science group, one to the Salvation Army. They varied in size from those which could serve 250 full meals and 500 cups of tea, and sandwiches, to the little portable type which can be put on the luggage rack of a car and from which I suppose fifty men could be given tea and sandwiches. I was particularly interested in this because I think it would be valuable anywhere where people had to meet a sudden emergency like a forest fire. There was a trailer which can be hooked onto an ordinary car which consisted of three tanks of water, and which must be a Codsend when an area is blitzed and sewers and water mains are both affected.

The drivers and the workers on these canteens are volinteers. Many of them work at least five days a week, sometimes more, for a full eight hour day. They take school lunches to children and food to the outposts where women work in lonely places. They use all of this equipment for general welfare when it is not needed for emergency work. We afterwards met the Dean and made brief visit to the Cathedral which is very different from what it has when I saw it several years ago.

Our next stop was at Barham to visit a Women's Institute. Lady Denman is the head of the National organization. The women proudly showed me a canning machine from America, sent by Miss Grace Frysinger of the Department of Agriculture. There was also a table with vegetables grown from the seeds sent from the United States.

Our last stop was Dover. The Mayor met us and showed us the Civilian Defense work. Admiral Sir Henry Pridham-Whipple showed us the Navy's work and we saw the work of the Wrens. Their head is Mrs. Lawton-Matthews. Miss Mildred McAfee heads a comparable organization of women in the U.S. Navy. Of course, the women here do a greater variety of things than they do at present in the United States, but it is a great satisfaction to see how completely accepted they are by their co-workers and how well they carry their responsibilities.

Dover is interesting as a City in many ways. The shelters, the offices, the people were all worth seeing. No one would dream from watching these people go about their daily business that the enemy is so near at hand and that everyone is prepared at all times to take up active defense work.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Churchill, Clementine, Lady, 1885-1977 [ index ]
         Spouse of Winston Churchill
         [ LC | ISNI | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC | FAST | ODNB ]
  • Denman, Gertrude Mary Pearson, Baroness, 1884-1954 [ index ]
         British suffragist and public servant; spouse of 3rd Baron Denham
         [ Wikidata | SNAC | ODNB ]
  • Frysinger, Grace E. (Grace Elizabeth), 1885-1979 [ index ]
         American home economist and government official
         [ LC | VIAF | SNAC ]
  • Isaacs, Stella, Marchioness of Reading, Baroness Swanborough, 1894-1971 [ index ]
         British philanthropist; founder of Women's Royal Voluntary Service
         [ Wikidata | SNAC | UK Nat. Archives | ODNB ]
  • Johnson, Hewlett, 1874-1966 [ index ]
         Dean of Canterbury
         [ LC | ISNI | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC | FAST | ODNB ]
  • Mathews, Vera Laughton, 1888-1959 [ index ]
         British military officer; director of British Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS)
         [ LC | ISNI | VIAF | Wikidata | ODNB ]
  • McAfee, Mildred H., 1900- [ index ]
         American academic; first director of the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service)
         [ LC | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC | FAST ]
  • Pridham-Wippell, Henry, Sir, 1885-1952 [ index ]
         British Royal Navy officer
         [ Wikidata | NPG-UK ]
  • London (England, United Kingdom) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 2, 1942

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
[ ERPP bio | LC | VIAF | WorldCat | DPLA | Wikidata | SNAC ]

Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

  • Brick, Christopher (Editor)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]
  • Regenhardt, Christy (Associate Editor)
    [ ISNI ]
  • Black, Allida M. (Editor)
    [ VIAF | ISNI ]
  • Binker, Mary Jo (Associate Editor)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]
  • Alhambra, Christopher C. (Electronic Text Editor)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]

Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

XML master last modified on: September 6, 2021.

HTML version generated and published on: September 6, 2021.

Transcription created from a photocopy of a draft version of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library. My Day column draft dated November 1, 1942, FDR Library, Hyde Park, NY
TMsd, 1 November 1942, AERP, FDRL