This armband has some letters on it. WVS is short for Women's Voluntary Service. Women organised local areas in wartime, often helping people they knew.
From finding safe homes for children to caring for bomb victims. Edith wore this armband when she was working for the war effort.
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Gwen's mother was in the Women's Voluntary Service:
"My mother was asked to be the incident officer for South Norwood. When there was a bomb she was either telephoned or if it was near you knew where it was. Most of the times they fell in the evenings or early morning."
"She used to rush off. Then we used to find a house that wasn't too badly damaged -
and if possible with a telephone - as near as possible to the incident, and the poster went up there."
"Everything was reported back and as the people were taken to the hospital then they would come with a list and say, 'Mrs so and so from number whatever has been taken to the first aid post, or Croydon General, or Mayday Hospital. We had five major incidents in our area. Being that we lived in the area there were quite a few places that we went to that we did know the people, you know, it was a bit upsetting at times."
Working in the Women's Voluntary Service
This armband was a simple sign. It marked Edith as someone who could help.
Over a million women like Edith Kerley had joined the Women's Voluntary Service by 1941. They sometimes called themselves 'Widows, Virgins and Spinsters,' but their efforts earned great respect.
Edith was an incident officer. Her skills, patience and kindness helped people in South Norwood to rebuild their lives after the bombs.
Find out more
To find out more about the
Women's voluntary Service
During the Second World War
visit the history page of there website: