RAF Malcom Club

Here I have a lovely China cup made by Rhenania of Duisdorf Germany. The cup was made for the Malcolm clubs which served the RAF. Malcolm clubs first appeared in Algiers in 1943. The Americans had taken over a large building in the middle of the city and turned it I to a welfare centre run by the Red Cross ladies. Both US and British troops used it but as it became more popular and space limited, it became an American only enterprise. Lord Tedder who was an officer in the RAF at the time was concerned that this would affect his men so he asked the senior command if the N.A.A.F.I could set something up in town. The request was declined. Then in stepped Eisenhower. He was concerned about the issue too so asked a lady working for him to look into it. That lady later married and became Mrs Tedder. Soon after, the first Malcolm club was established. They became a home from home for airmen and the likes.

The very names of the countries through which the clubs passed is an outline of the history of the Air Force during the war: North Africa, Egypt, Sudan, Palestine, Iraq, Ceylon, Burma, Malaya and Japan. Then through Italy, up the East coast into Austria, up to Vienna, to a little club there at Schwechat, where there was a handful of men working an aerodrome isolated in the middle of the Russian 728 Zone. We kept that club going for over two years. Then, in Normandy, there was the first British club on the Continent on D plus 51 at Crevilly; and then to Belgium, Holland, Germany, and up to Gatow, in Berlin. At one time in Germany there were twenty-two clubs.

The clubs closed in the 1950s due to funding issues after Germany incresed 4 fold it’s labour bills. A great history of the clubs can be found at

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/lords/1959/jan/22/proposed-closure-of-malcolm-clubs

This cup came courtesy of David Farnsworth at the Historic Flying Clothing Company. Check out his website at http://www.historicflyingclothing.com

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