faulogo chinese textFAU China Convoy Reunion Group


World War I
World War II

Selection and Training

Post World War II
The FAU In the Second World War

In 1938 with another European war seeming inevitable the WW1 veterans began planning to reform the Unit to provide opportunities to provide service for those of the new generation whose consciences prevented them from taking up arms. It was agreed that, like its predecessor, the FAU would not be an official Quaker body. This reflected the continuing absolute views of some Friends and also allowed non-combatant service to be available for others outside the Society.

Responsibility for leading this undertaking was settled on Paul Cadbury, John Harvey and Arnold Rowntree. On 1st September 1939 a letter was published in The Friend inviting expressions of interest. The response was immediate and encouraging, with over 300 applications received by mid September. In total around 5,000 people enquired about joining the Unit with approximately 1,300 eventually being accepted and joining by the end of the war.

Leaving Gordon Square HQ en route to Finland.

Unit members served in Finland, North Africa, Ethiopia, Greece, the Middle East, Italy, India and China and then in France, the Low Countries and in Germany and Austria as the war ended.
In addition most Unit members also undertook service on the home front in hospitals, social care and relief activities, notably in assisting with the response to bombing raids of Britainís cities.

A Tegla Daviesí official history of the FAU, The Friends Ambulance Unit, gives a detailed account of the range of the Unitís wartime activities see.Bibliography.