faulogo chinese textFAU China Convoy Reunion Group


World War I
World War II

Selection and Training

Post World War II
FAU Membership
At first they were all men, but by 1943 they had been joined by the first women members who were eventually to make up something under 10% of the membership. Quakers were the largest group, accounting for around half the membership, while others came from a variety of religious backgrounds - Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Church of England - or none at all. Educationally they were equally as diverse. Many had been at Quaker Schools and a number had been at Oxford, Cambridge and other universities, while others came straight from school or had left school at the age of 14 or 15 and gone to work in a wide range of trades and professions. Their average age was around 22, with most aged between 20 and 24, but with a few senior members in their early thirties. By the end of the war in Europe around 5,000 individuals had enquired about joining of which over 1,300 were accepted and joined the Unit. (Weíve already had this last sentence,on pg 5, although perhaps itís necessary to include it again in this section.)

The FAU quickly became a great leveller as all were expected to perform the same duties and to learn the same skills. Apart from the governing Board which oversaw its activities, the Unit operated on firm democratic principles with its limited management hierarchy annually elected by its members. Faced with the challenges of hospital and relief work, of driving and motor mechanics, practical skills and gumption were more significant than academic achievement or social standing.

The vast majority of FAU members were British and came from across the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, but included a handful from the Republic of Ireland and other countries. The international contingent was strongest within the China Convoy which eventually had an overseas majority of mainly Americans, Canadians and some New Zealanders. Like most of the FAUís overseas sections, the China Convoy also recruited local volunteers and several others displaced by the turmoil of the World War.


The 4th training camp at Manor Farm.

More details on the China Convoy's membership are provided on the page China Convoy Membership.