Offering hope in the trenches

two men sit drinking coffee
by Maritime
Categories: Blog, News Archive

Kath Stewart, 93, has a personal connection to war and the service and sacrifices made. Kath shares her vivid memories of extreme personal hardship and how The Salvation Army was present to comfort and help maintain military morale.

“It’s not easy to go through war,” says Kath. “You go to school and see empty desks, knowing there is a good chance that those people have been killed in an air raid the night before.”

Kath was 14 when the family gathered around the wireless to hear that war was declared.

“The war meant production and transportation of food was disrupted,” says Kath. “Resources were scarce and rationing became normal to us. I remember being allowed one fresh egg a month.”

Scarborough, a town on the North Sea coast of North Yorkshire, England, where Kath lived, was a holiday resort where hotels and boarding houses provided lodging to Army and Navy Air Force troops.

“We all took the soldiers under our wing,” says Kath.

As a member of The Salvation Army she volunteered, serving troops at the Army’s mobile canteen that offered hot drinks and snacks. Her family took soldiers home for meals.

“Somehow we managed to make food go around. The Salvation Army did whatever was necessary to help maintain military morale,” says Kath. “They were a familiar and welcome sight during the war.

The Salvation Army continues to offer hope today, by providing food, clothing and shelter.