I’ll always remember Quorn. It was where we had a meal fit for a king and after eating tinned stuff you can imagine just how much we appreciated it.1
The meals the CWA supplied were fondly remembered and so was their hospitality.
Taking over the Memorial Hall on the Quorn Oval, the CWA women hung the hall full of plum puddings waiting for the next lot of troops. Hot meals consisting of rissoles, gravy, mashed potato and vegetables—followed by the sweet smelling puddings and custard—were served on a rotating shift. In the heat, meals were cold meats, salads, banana custard and local fruits.3
As Evan Morris told an interviewer in 2003, "They had risen to the occasion, they were wonderful, really wonderful women to do those sorts of things."4 Feeding the troops as they passed through was a small gesture but the men appreciated it.
The women who served the meals did not wear uniforms, creating a much appreciated home-like experience.
Someone mentioned the magic word ‘tucker’, we stumbled out of those mobile sweat boxes and stood blinking, bewildered and miserable, at the sun scorched platform...Then we saw them: wonderful, smiling sunburned faces under grey hair and wearing crisp flowered aprons. Every one of them just like our mums and offering us fabulous food…piping hot and served, not on service issue tin plates, but on white bone china. Who were these angels…?—RAAF serviceman 4227815
Read more about troop train meals: For other mothers' sons
1 'Says a Soldier, Quorn Mercury, 10 April 1942.
2 "Not a one-man war", The Mail, 21 March 1942.
3 H. Parker et al., The first fifty years: golden jubilee history of the South Australian Country Women's Association, South Australian Country Women's Association, 1979, pp. 69–70.
4 Evan Morris, Recorded Interview, Australians at War Archive, Australian War Memorial. Accessed at http://www.australiansatwarfilmarchive.gov.au/aawfa/interviews/484.aspx.
5 Parker et al., p. 71.