View Full Version : Page Boy?
01-05-2006, 3:12 PM
Can anyone tell me what a 'Page Boy' would have done? I've googled and also looked at a couple of 'Old Occupation' websites, but am none the wiser.
I always thought a Page Boy was a rather medieval occupation or something to do with Henry VIII... but I've got a 13-year old (who was born in Suffolk but living in Penge at the time of the 1871 census) claiming to be one.
01-05-2006, 3:42 PM
"Can anyone tell me what a 'Page Boy' would have done?"
"Runs errands, waits on door, performs occasional household duties" - source: "Dictionary of Occupational Terms", 1921.
01-05-2006, 3:49 PM
I was a Page Boy
Yes, I was a Page Boy working in an R.A.F. Officers Mess / Quarters.
That was 1944 during the last years of WW2 in Malta. We had about 35 to 40 Officers. all Ground Crew. Three Canadians. one from Sth Rhodesia and one Aussie.
I was 14. I wore a uniform and worked 2 shifts. 7am to 3pm and 3pm to 11pm+.
My job was this :
Tidy up the Library room and prepare the fireplace for the evenings. Early afternoon, supply sport gear, like tennis racquets, soccer balls etc to Officers when not at work. Around 3pm prepare tea for the Officers and make toast, had to remove crust from each slice, lightly toast the bread and each slice had to be cut in four sections and placed on a warm plate. Only a few Officers used to come for afternoon tea. Make sure newspapers were available in the Library / Lounge.
At 7pm I had to be in the Bar serving drinks to the Officers till about 11pm. In those days (WW2) the Officers used to have a booklet of coupons to pay for their drinks. They handed me the booklet and I used to cut coupons (like a large stamp) of different values but they used give me tips in real money.
Quite often the Officers used to organize a Dance Party at the Mess and used to invite WAAF or WRNS ladies. These parties used to go till 1am or after, so I was going flat out but the tips were very good. My wages were one pound & ten shillings sterling a week of 7 days. Was making good money as a 14 yr old.
Besides all this I had to be on stand-by near a buzzer which was placed near the Mess kitchen and by the buzzer there was a board showing the room numbers in the quarters. At times an Officer wanted a cup of tea in his room or a newspaper, a book or to supply a stamp or post a letter, etc. I also had to answer the phone in the hallway. That was something I hated doing
On Sundays more time had to be spent in the Bar.
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