Resources for Anglo-German educational history 1942-1958
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The Moot

Mimi Hatton

- In Germany
- Papers

Arabella Kurdi

- In Germany
- Papers


Arabella Kurdi In Germany

Arabella Kurdi, June 1947

Arabella Kurdi (then Pallister) left England for Germany early in February 1947. She was appointed as School Meals Organiser and worked from the BFES Headquarters in Herford.

The work of the School Meals Organiser involved inspecting schools, and setting up school kitchens and dinning rooms. Arabella and her colleague Phyllis Pollard visited schools throughout the British Zone of Germany. They co-authored a guide to school meals which contains advice on nutrition, menu suggestions, and recipes. Phyllis Pollard, co-author of British Families Education Service Guide to School Meals, early 1947The work necessitated much travel to the schools and to factories for equipment and because of this Arabella was issued with a car and German PoW driver. Arabella’s driver, Gerhardt, was from Stettin, his wife and three children were refugees and lived in one room in a village in Schleswig Holstein. They built a strong working relationship trying to teach each other languages and singing German songs. In 1947 they covered 30,000 miles. Arabella would often be required to leave her Billet or Transit Hotel by 7am for long journeys and frequently did not reach her destination until 6 or 7pm. Accommodation was in transit hotels, which had been commandeered by the army; they were staffed by Germans and the food was provided by the British. During her travels the sight of Germany’s bomb damaged cities made a profound impression on Arabella. She recorded some of these in her photographs.

Bomb damage in Hamburg photographed by Arabella Kurdi in 1947

While based in Herford Arabella was billeted with a German family in a requisitioned house. She slept there but ate her meals in an Officers’ Mess. Her friendship with the Krümme family continued long after her return to the UK in 1951.

Find out more about The Papers of Arabella Kurdi