the online A-Z of Southampton's history.

One of the British Restaurants opened in Southampton
supplying "good meals at prices within the reach of everyone."

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3 December 1941
A “British Restaurant” was opened in the basement of the Southampton Guildhall “to meet the needs of those people whose business activities are in the central area of the town, and who cannot make other arrangements for meals” (Southern Daily Echo, 1 December 1941.) The opening had been delayed by a fortnight as essential kitchen equipment had not arrived on time. As it was, the Emergency and Community Feeding Oficer, Mr Jackson Seed, had scrambled to gather together just enough equipment to open. There would be no sign of the behind-the-scenes problems to the customers, who could enjoy soup for 2d, meat and two veg for 9d (child’s portion 6d), and a cup of tea for a penny.

The first two restaurants were opened as emergency feeding centres in December 1940: a municipal centre in St Mary's, and one at St Michael's House run by the Christian Science War Relief Committee.

Southampton's Emergency and Community Feeding Department was formed in March 1941, and the Civic Centre Restaurant was the seventh to be opened under the "British Restaurant" brand.
The others were:
Kent Street School, Northam (opened 27 May 1941)
School Dining Hall, Itchen Secondary School, Deacon Road, Bitterne (22 September 1941)
Station British Restaurant, Portsmouth Road (1 October 1941 )
Regent, Richville Road (30 October 1941)
Merry Oak, Cornel Road (26 January 1942, but later closed due to enemy action)
Portswood British Restaurant (22 May 1942)

further reading
Community Catering in Southampton, 1943


Remembering Southampton's war day by day

See Air Raids, World War 2

The In Memoriam columns of the Southern Daily Echo were filled with the names of those who had been killed a year before

29 November 1941
FIREMEN Brocklehurst, Murtagh, Oldbury, Webb. – In memory of those men of AFS Station C killed by enemy action whilst on duty 30/11/40. – From old comrades of late Station C.

Christine O’Hara and her fiance Jim Berryman
Treasured memories of my darling daughter, Chriss, also her fiance Jim Berryman, killed by enemy action November 30 1940. – from her sorrowing Mother and Pops, 24 Deacon Crescent, Bitterne. “In mind a constant thought, in heart a silent sorrow.” RIP.

30 November 1941
Big Police Church Parade: tribute to Courage and Sacrifice in Raids… About 1,500 people attended an impressive service in the Guildhall. Five hundred of them were regular or War Service members of the Force, special constables or police auxiliaries. (Southern Daily Echo 1 December 1941)

1 December 1941
The Gordon Family, who died at 219 Manor Farm Road, Bitterne Park:
George Archibald Gordon, his wife Constrance Gertrude, and their sons Reginald Arthur, aged 16, and Alan, aged 14
Treasured memories of our dear sister Gertie and brother-in law Archie, also their two dear sons, Reggie and Alan, killed by enemy action December 1 1940. – from their loving sisters and brothers. “So dearly loved, so sadly missed.”

The Culleys, at 24 Peterborough Road:
George Edward Culley, his wife Alice Emily and their son Georgie, aged 4.
Happy memories of my dear cousin Alice, also her devoted husband and their little treasured Georgie, died though enemy action December 1 1940. – Ciss. “Oft in silence I remember them.”

2 December 1941
Not just blitz victims.

Lost at sea on SS Victor Ross:
Bertie James Dundee
Treasured memories of Bertie, who gave his life at sea December 2 1940. – Mum, dad and all. “In memory’s garden we meet every day.”

Harry Ockelford
In proud and loving memory of my dear brother, Harry, killed by enemy action December 2, 1940. – Sister Kitty, brother-in law Andy and baby Tony.
Harry was remembered by his parents, aunt and uncle, brother and sister.

William Phippard
In loving memory of my dear son, William Phippard, killed by enemy action December 2 1940. – From his Mother, sisters and brothers. “Not a single day goes over, that I do not think of you.”

3 December 1941
A family who died at St Hillers, Romsey Road, Shirley:
Gertrude Louise Arfman and her 2 year old son David Ernest Arfman
Florence Ada Beare and her three sons Colin, aged 6, Roger, aged 8 and Ronald, aged 2
Florence Emily Weeks
Eva Mary Weeks
In loving memory of my dear wife, Florrie, also her three daughters Florrie, Gert, Eva, who died by enemy action December 1 1940. from her loving husband George. “In God’s Keeping”

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Sotonopedia last updated 8 October 2021

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