Mon. 25 Dec. ’44 Xmas

Somewhere in England

10:45 a.m.

(5:45 a.m. in Lansing)


Dear folks,

One more Xmas is here. It’s a rather hazy, damp and pretty cold day here. I wonder if you have snow there. Last night I wrote some V-mails to Gramp, Elmo, and Amelia just for something to do and to give them my APO number. I got to bed at about 10:00 I guess. They called us out for reveille this morning at about 8:00. Breakfast was bran, milk, scrambled eggs, bread, butter, and grapefruit juice. After eating I got my work out of the way and then got dressed & picked up my pass. It’s good until 11:00 tonight but I’m staying here for dinner and I expect to be in before then tonight as there isn’t much to do in town I suspect. I got 7 pounds for my money and still have some shillings and pence coming as they ran out of change. Probably most stores will be closed today – Xmas. I hope I get some mail tomorrow. It will make up for Xmas a lot if I do. I dug out my long woolen snuggies yesterday & I’m plenty warm except for my feet. They’ve been cold ever since I’ve been in England and I can’t seem to get them thawed out. There were a lot of turkeys visible in the kitchen this morning and there was a very pleasing odor there but I’d rather have smelled it in your kitchen like Sun. Oct. 15. Remember that? Well I’ll sign off now and wait for dinner which will be on before too long I hope.

Back at 9:25 p.m. It was a long wait for dinner but it was worth it. We didn’t get to eat until nearly 2:30 – turkey, a big slab of white meat, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, cauliflower, salad, cranberry sauce, bread, rolls, butter and pineapple cake. It was plentiful and really tasted good. At about 3:30 Buck and I took off for town. It’s quite a place.

Tues. 26 Dec. ‘44

12:15 noon


Dear folks,

Back again. I’m doubling up on my letters to make the stamps go farther. I had to quit last night when the lights went out. Now it’s 6:30 so I’ll start in again. I’ll finish this tonight and mail the 2 days in one. We walked in to town yesterday. We didn’t know the way exactly but we just went in the general direction and ended up in the center of town. It’s about like one would expect. The houses are small apartments very snug looking. They all look alike to me. You can go for a couple blocks and see only one kind of house. The streets are a bit narrow and curve all over so that it wouldn’t be hard to get lost I’m thinking. We wandered around and saw what we could of the town in daylight. Then we went up to the Red Cross Service Club downtown. It’s a nice place patterned after our Service Clubs but it was pretty crowded. Everything was [closed] yesterday due to Xmas probably. They have places for fellows on pass to sleep, a small dance floor, a few ping pong tables and a place to eat. It was pretty crowded so we left and found another place where we got some free cake & sandwiches. It’s useless to try to eat in a restaurant so far as I can see. The civilians deserve it anyway so if I do any eating in town it’ll be at Service Clubs. After eating we walked around a bit and came back to the Red Cross. They have a big log book there where fellows sign according to states. I hunted through it and found about 10 men from Lansing none of whom I knew. Then we got on the end of the line or queue as it’s called over here and got supper. We got a fair meal – potatoes, gravy, roast beef, bread, & fruit cake for 1 shilling, 3 pence or about 25 cents. That’s cheap enough and a better meal than one could get anywhere else. After eating we headed back for camp and got back about 9:00. It really was foggy last night as usual. I started to write a little but the boys were sleepy so the lights went out. After 6:00 or so town is blacked out and you can’t find anything except the “pubs” which I wasn’t hunting for. It’s good there isn’t much traffic. All the stores were closed Xmas, the 26th & 27th for the Holidays. Today is Boxing Day, whatever that means.

We were up at 7:00 today & out for reveille. Brr. It was very cold out today. We had quite a frost last night and everything from the trees down to the weeds & spider webs was all white frost and it was really pretty if only there could have been a bit of sun to shine on it. It’s been so foggy all day you can see only a few feet away. As usual they say its way colder than normal. It’s the same old story that you hear everywhere. Breakfast this morning was good — hot cereal, milk, bread, butter, scrambled eggs and grapefruit juice. I went to work today and worked all day believe it or not. It was about time I guess. We’ll be on a payroll pretty quick. Dinner was stew, potatoes, brussell sprouts, fruit salad, cookies, bread & butter. Supper – spuds, corn, bread, butter & pineapple. That’s the dope on today. We got 13 V-mail letters for the whole – none for me. I’ll cut this off so it won’t be too heavy. This cleans out my stamps. Here’s your first request – send me plenty of air mail stamps. Also send a pkg. of non-perishable food when you can. Cover the expense from what I send. You can get the dope on size of pkg. etc. from the Post Office. Stick in a couple khaki handkerchiefs & single edge blades. If I think of more I’ll mention it another time. This should serve to satisfy the postal clerk as if it goes past the censor it’s O.K. with the C.O. So for now I’ll sign off and call this it for tonight at 7:15.

Love to all of you,


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