The King's Daughters World War II Newsletters
The King’s Daughters were a women’s circle at the First Presbyterian Church of Ambler. In 1942 they created a monthly newsletter for the 31 men and women of their congregation serving in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. The King’s Daughters realized the sacrifice that the servicemen and women were making and wanted to show their appreciation in some small way.
The first monthly Newsletter was issued on September 30, 1942. It consisted of 6 pages highlighting the events in Ambler and the nation during the war and was mailed to church members. As word spread in the community about the newsletters, other names were added to the distribution list regardless of faith. The servicemen and women also passed the newsletters to their fellow soldiers. Over the years the newsletter grew from the initial 6 pages to about 21 pages a month with a circulation of over 300 copies – quite a feat! They used a manual typewriter, typed on a special mimeograph stencil, ran off the needed copies and mailed them to the soldiers.
They did all this with virtually no budget. Money was raised through bake sales and monetary donations, and for the needed paper and ink to be donated every month, which were in short supply. The last Newsletter, No. 44, was issued on May 22, 1946.
During the war years, the King’s Daughters received feedback from the servicemen and women who asked to have the happenings at the High School, the Top Ten Songs, the local and national sports scores and most importantly jokes added to the newsletters. They felt hearing from the soldiers made all their work worthwhile. As the newsletters grew in scope, the King’s Daughters were always in search of new stories to include in that month’s newsletter. Ambler residents began crossing the street if they saw a member of the King’s Daughters in the distance, but that didn’t work. The members would follow them to obtain a story for the newsletter.
The original newsletters were donated to the Wissahickon Valley Historical Society in the 1990’s and were recently rediscovered in the WVHS Library. All 725 pages were found in three large manila envelopes; you could still smell the mimeograph ink. They have since been scanned for ease of sharing and researching within the newsletters. Please use the Find or Search feature on the scanned newsletters to look for familiar names of neighbors, friends and best of all, family!
Note: You may need to download the PDF to use the search feature.
The WVHS shared the Newsletters with Buck Amey since his family was mentioned many times. Buck has since collected some photographs of the service men and women mentioned in the Newsletters. If you have a photograph to add to our collection, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org along with a story.
We contacted the First Presbyterian Church of Ambler, explained what we found, and asked if we could look through the church’s archive for more information. We have gathered and scanned additional information for use in a future WVHS Program.
Please enjoy reading and searching online for information on family, friends and neighbors along with what was going on in Ambler and the nation during WWII. Please note the scans were made from 75 year-old mimeographed documents that contain a few faded areas. The faded areas may not have scanned clearly enough to deliver a search result, but are readable.
If you would like to make a donation to the WVHS, please click here. Thank you and enjoy the newsletters!
Compiled by Buck Amey, Sally Zeller, Bob Duxbury and Joan Duxbury
Wissahickon Valley Historical Society is a certified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization