New Zealand Forces Club in Cairo

New Zealand Forces Club in Cairo

Eleanor Fraser serves refreshments to soldiers at the New Zealand Forces Club in Cairo, date unknown. Eleanor served with the Women's War Service Auxiliary (WWSA) during the Second World War. In September 1941, she and 29 other young women left New Zealand for Egypt to work as ‘Tuis’ in the New Zealand Forces Club.

There was a cake and sandwich counter which was jammed right against a wall. We were busy. That huge lounge would become jammed with troops, shoulder to shoulder, all wanting food. In the middle of summer it was always very hot. You couldn't get out because there were too many troops in front. You'd run out of sandwiches and see the suffragi coming with this suitcase thing full of sandwiches away at the far end. It'd be on his head because it was the only way he could get it through the crowd, and quite often he'd get within a few feet then some drunken soldier would tip it up and all the precious sandwiches [would] go on the floor. All the boys would be getting impatient, 'bloody women' this and 'bloody women' that, you know, because there weren't any sandwiches. It was a horrible counter to get trapped on.

Eleanor Fraser in Megan Hutching (ed) The Desert Road: New Zealanders Remember the North African Campaign, 2005, p. 98

Community contributions

1 comment has been posted about New Zealand Forces Club in Cairo

What do you know?


Posted: 24 Mar 2014

My late Father-in-law was part of a tank crew in north Africa in WW2. In his papers he had an invitation to an evening at the NZ Forces Cub, Cairo where "the Tuis will present their new revue "Blue Skies"". Obviously a treasured memento of a wonderful evening for him.
You can see the invitation on my Flickr page here: