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By Pearl Harbor in 1942, Britain had been fighting the war in Europe for three long years. With shipping lanes blocked or bombed by Nazi U-boats, food was rationed and so was fuel. But it was the clothes rations that brought many of the women down. The monthly coupons allowed you to buy a skirt or two pairs of stockings; you would have to save up two or three months to get a dress or a pair of shoes.

Thus, the American Bundles for Britain was a lifesaver. Housewives throughout the States gathered any good second-hand clothes they could, and together they formed bundled packages that could be distributed to British towns.

Can you imagine the joy of a new pair of shoes or a gently-used dress when you’d been wearing the same one for years. From the women on one side of the world to another, it wasn’t only clothes that were given. It was a caring understanding of how it must feel; a recognition that they were all in it together.

See Bundles for Britain in action in THE CHILBURY LADIES' CHOIR.

Image: Cassowary Colorizations

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