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The War Years      How Winter Park reacted to World War I & World War II

WW I: 1914-1918

 A popular World War I verse was:

My Tuesdays are meatless,
My Wednesdays are wheatless,
I'm growing more eatless each day.
My home's almost heatless,
My bed is quite sheetless,
They went overseas to the YMCA.
My coffee is sweetless,
The barrooms are treatless,
Each day I grow poorer but wiser.
My socks getting feetless,
My pants almost seatless,
And all because of the Kaiser.
               ~ Anonymous



  • The Winter Park Home Guard was established in July of 1917 at the Town Hall. It performed the same functions as today’s National Guard. Drills were held every Friday night.
  • A branch of the National Surgical Dressings Committee was organized and met in the Town Hall. Fifty women met twice a week to make dressings.
  • The Country Club Auxiliary of the American Red Cross sent 1,510 dressings to the National Surgical Dressings Committee and 16,042 dressings to the American Red Cross.
  • Florida Marmalades for the Wounded was organized. They sent 700 pounds of marmalade to wounded soldiers in France.
  • A Food Conservation Club was organized. The woman of the town attended courses in “war cooking.”
  • Baby caps were sent to the New York City office of American Girls Aid.
  • The Winter Park Country Club turned its links into pasture for 250 sheep and 150 goats, to relieve the shortage in the meat supply.


  • The Civil Defense Organization was formed. Its purpose was to coordinate the activities of all war organizations during war work. Names of the district leaders included: Schultz, Denning, Ward, Powell, Keezel, and Hotard.
  • Armistice was declared on November 11th, bringing hostilities to an end.


WW II: 1939-1945


  • A Selective Service Board was appointed.
  • The British Red Cross sent out an urgent call for woolen garments, and Bundles for Britain was organized. The first branch organized outside of New York City was here in Winter Park.
  • Money was raised for a mobile canteen and it was sent to Plymouth, England.
  • A Home Guard Unit was formed by the American Legion.
  • At a mass meeting, a voluntary collection of $1,564.00 was raised for the Finnish Relief Fund.
  • The Red Cross drive raised $1,584.38.


  • Voluntary Defense Registration Days were held on May 30th and May 31st.
  • Bundles for Britain’s Winter Park unit adopted as its special project the Bristol Royal Hospital in Bristol, England. This unit (which had been meeting in the Green Room at the Annie Russell Theater) moved to a new headquarters on Park Avenue.
  • The local branch of the Red Cross resumed work at the Congregational Church. This group conducted surgical dressing classes, amassed supplies and packaged them. They also taught a high school class in these matters.
  • The Bowl of Rice benefit raised $1313.81 for the American Bureau for Medical Aid to China.


  • Sugar and gas rationing began in May of 1942. Thirty four school teachers and twenty four PTA volunteers handled the issuing of these ration cards. Almost 7,000 people registered for sugar cards and only a few less for the gas cards.
  • Local women also joined the service.
    1. On May 15th, the WAACS were created as an auxiliary unit of the US Army. WAACS was the acronym for Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. Miss Annette Coudert enlisted in this group. (In 1943, this unit converted to full status and was then called the Women's Army Corps [WAC].)
    2. On July 30th, the WAVES became a division of the US Navy. WAVES was the acronym for Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. The local women who signed up for this division were: Elinor Flynt, Bernice Carroll, and Barbara Northern.
  • The Kiwanis Club erected a Roll of Honor in the park for the city’s men and women serving in the armed forces.
  • The American Women’s Voluntary Service (AWVA) was organized. They worked to: assist the draft and ration boards, sell defense stamps and bonds, fingerprint school children, operate a recreation room for service men, take donors to the blood bank, and generally be useful in during war time.
  • A Winter Park War Relief Committee was organized.
  • Civil Defense classes were held at the Colony Theater under the sponsorship of the Red Cross.
  • New courses were held at Rollins College. Included were: War Problems, Radio Communication, Civilian Pilot Training, Rifle Marksmanship, Nursing Aid, Aid to Mechanics, Navigation, Standard First Aid, Military Psychology, Chemical Warfare, Geography of Nations at War, & the Literature & Psychology of Propaganda





Item: Page from a book
Title: Orlando, a Century Plus
Author: Baynard H. Kendrick
Description: Chapter XII: World War I - 1914-20

Date: c.1976


Item: Art supplement
Source: unknown
Description: Call to purchase war bonds
Artist: Joseph Pennell Del.

Date: September 29, 1918


Item: Photograph
Source: Historical Photograph Collection
The Winter Park Home Guard

Date: 1917

* For list of men in photo, please visit the Winter Park History & Archives

Item: Newspaper clipping
Source: The Winter Park Post
Description: Honor Roll
Text: News from back home - Make it a point to keep us posted - A number of those receiving the paper in the past have acknowledged its receipt and if not asking too much, we would be pleased to hear from others.

Date: December 5, 1918

Item: Photograph
Source: Historical Photograph Collection
Description: Military parade down Park Avenue

Date: undated


Item: Newspaper article
Source: Sentinel Star newspaper
Title: Winter Park Residents Tense During WWII Years

Date: June 6, 1976



Item: Newspaper article
Source: Winter Park Herald
Title: Serving U.S. from Winter Park

Date: December 12, 1941
Item: Newspaper article
Source: unknown
Title: Serving U.S. from Winter Park

Date: c. 1941
Item: Newspaper article
Description: Obituary
Title: Paul Alter Killed on Duty

Date: December 12, 1941
Item: Newspaper photograph
Source: Winter Park Outlook
Title: Navy sings for ceremony
Text: The U.S. Navy Recruit Chorus from the Orlando Naval Training Center performs in front of the Plymouth apartment complex in Winter Park on Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11. Charlie Hacket, a long-time resident, has arranged such ceremonies for 12 years at the Plymouth.

Photographer: Ralph Bormet
Date: November 11, 1986

Item: Newspaper photograph
Source: Winter Park Outlook
Title: Veterans Day observed
Text: Member of Post 2093 Honor Guard stands at ease waiting for the command to "Present arms!" at the Plymouth retirement complex in Winter Park as it celebrates Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11.

Photographer: Ralph Bormet
Date: November 11, 1986

Item: Photograph
Source: Historical Photograph Collection
Description: Flag raising ceremony of the local VFW

Date: c. 1960

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