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Servant of the Services by [Howard, Jessie]
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Servant of the Services Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Length: 234 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Review

Servant of the Services is a delightful reconstruction of the reminiscences and recollections of Jessie Howard, woven into a continuous narrative by one of her daughters, Jessie Howard jr.

At the start of the book it is Christmas 1929, Jessie Edmondstone is 18 and living with her family in Carlisle. Father, (Jock) is in the Scots Guards and had served during the Great War. He has a wage and a small pension but times are hard and the money does not go far enough. Jessie's mother has to work when she can to augment their income and Jessie is unsuccessfully seeking employment. Brothers John and William have been sent away from the family, John serving as a boy soldier in the Scots Guards in London and William at a school from which he will follow his brother into the Guards. Also at home are sister Anna and youngest child Jamie.

By chance Jock learns that the Naafi canteen manageress in Carlisle is in need of waitresses to help with the family Christmas party and volunteers Jessie. Jessie is obviously alert and intelligent and a good worker. She quickly picks up on what is needed when serving, and she is noticed by the Area Supervisor who offers her the chance to join the Naafi as a trainee. It will mean leaving home and the family, but since there are no jobs for her in Carlisle and the family are so short of money it seems like the obvious next step for her.

Jessie is sent for a month's training in Bury, Lancashire where she is supervised by a Mrs. Hadley. She is then sent to Burscough nr Ormskirk for her first posting as an assistant. Here she is the only helper and she finds the standards of cleanliness much lower than she expected following her training post and she has to cope with a rather difficult manageress. However, Jessie is resilient and a quick learner and her helpful attitude, hard work and sympathetic personality bring her friends and supporters and she grows in confidence and goes from strength to strength. In the end it is due to a misjudgement that she becomes suspected of stealing and demoted to a new and, because of the suspicion, unpleasant post, but even this turns out for the best as it eventually brings an opportunity for training as a cook which will lead to a different and successful career in domestic science.

This is a delightful book which will be enjoyed by those who remember serving in the forces and the older generation who have similar experiences. It provides a glimpse into how different life was then from how we live today and can only cause the younger generation to be thankful that we have so many aids in our kitchens to make food preparation and domestic chores so much easier. --R Staddon, Nottingham.

About the Author

Jessie Howard is one of three daughters born to Jessie Edmonstone after her marriage in 1931. Jessie Howard trained as a domestic science teacher and, during a career spanning 38 years, was a head of department at three secondary schools in London.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 498 KB
  • Print Length: 234 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1500986135
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008FNDPNI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #400,550 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top customer reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An enjoyable book that draws you into the story making you feel that you are experiencing life at that time. The only downside is the odd spelling mistake and ends of words missing off the screen. Looking forward to reading the sequel.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is plainly written, nothing fancy, but it is strangely engrossing to read Jessie's story of when she started working for the NAAFI. Maybe it's because Jessie's daughter has stayed very true to the way her mother reminisced about all the memorable things that happened at that time. It certainly exerted a spell on me because as soon as I finished the book, I bought the follow-up 'The Reward for Service' which I also enjoyed.
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I very much like books related to times gone by.
I find it very difficult to believe that anybody would put up with the conditions mentioned in this book.
However times were difficult for everybody at that time as far as I'm aware it seems to me it's always the little things that count most. Jolly good read.
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