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Austin Canteen Wagons


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There seem to be a few Austins on the scene at the moment that portray themselves as war time when the chances are they were converted after the war for the NFS.

Just for interest I thought that a picture of a "real" canteen would be of interest.

Attached is a wartime picture of a 3 ton Austin Canteen that was used by the YMCA just after D Day.

The picture came from a book called The Road From Normandy that tells the story of two YMCA volunteers Margaret Chettle and Marjorie Whiteside who landed in Normandy in August 1944 and followed the troops through to VE day.

The book was published privately in November 1946 in Kendal. I have tried to find out more about the author but have drawn a blank, even though she was at the time of publishing an MBE.


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Thanks for posting the info on Margaret Chettle's book, Brooky.


It sounded such a good story that I did some googling, and managed to obtain a copy that very evening from a s/h book website. Came today - excellent! Will make a great read over the festivities.


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Well done

From the info I have managed to get hold of you did very well getting a copy of the book.

I spoke to the publishers to see if they had any record of the author (the book was self published) and they said that all their records had been destroyed in a flood and in any case all the manuscript etc would have been returned after publication. They did say however that the print run would probably have not exceeded a thousand copies and probable much less than that.

It is indeed a fantastic story and really brings to life the story of these two girls in Normandy.

I did the research because I did have a thought that the book should be republished as both a historic account and a social account of that period.

Who knows I may one day continue the search as I am sure that the author lived in my neck of the woods as it was published in Kendal and one quotation goes along the lines of "and for a moment I was back in my native Lancashire" (or something like that"!!!

Enjoy the read and maybe leave it in the clubhouse for someone else to look at!!!!!

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