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Posts Tagged ‘Yanks’

It is now quite some time since I wrote last I have  been so fed up recently that I couldn’t get into the writing mood.  My days at the R.E.M.E workshops  over now and I am once again with  163 battery.  I was not sorry really as the going was very stiff of there and the hours were shocking.  Being with the battery again gives me a much freer hand as I am my own boss and make my own decisions.  We are in tents here and consequently we are leaving very healthy lives.

The weather is beautiful,  fairly hot during the  day with very cool and refreshing evenings.  The scenery though still scrappy and tawdry  has improved quite a lot, the grass is rich green and the fields full of rich red poppies look really beautiful.  I have plenty of work to keep me occupied having to radio locations to maintain and keep in action.  In the evenings I usually write letters or listen in to my own little 3 valver. Sometimes I visit a wealthy Sicilian and his family who have lived here for the past eight years. Generally speaking I don’t like the Italians but this family is altogether different.  I first got to know them when I repaired their radiogram for them and now I am just one of the family. Their house is both modern and comfortable and the master is even  putting up his own extensions. He must have both money and influence to do that with the frontline not far away.  The tide of war has only just swamped over Foggia.

Here I must put in a word or two about the Yanks over here. I don’t think anyone has a good word for them. There is nothing solid or sincere about them. Anything which is cheap and showy they revel in it.  It is said here that all the Yanks have been withdrawn from the front in this new offensive as they are no use at all.  They walk down the streets of Foggia with the American W.A.A.C.O  which are the equivalent of the ATS as if they owned the place when they know full well that the 8th army captured Foggia and all the other towns around here.  One American pilot was seen wearing a leather jacket with all the places he had bombed written on his back.  I wonder what would have happened to an RAF pilot had he walked into the mess wearing such a thing.  If this sort of thing goes on out here what must it be like in England.

Letters from Evelyn are coming in fairly regularly now and I can just imagine how fed up she must be.  I only hope that we can get out to South Africa after the war and settle down and be very happy.

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AFter nearly a week at Agropoli we have moved contrary to my expectations to a place only 8 miles away and close by a Yankee aerodrome. Latest information is that we shall be here for a further three weeks before moving up. We are now part of the Fifth Army comprising Yanks and British troops.

Our journey from Sicily is now completed. The highlights of the journey were first the crossing from Messina to Reggio which was made in the company of fifty or so girl students. They were packed in with the troops and lorries and the whole trip was very pleasant. Second, the mountain pass which we climbed on the third day, what a magnificent view from the top after four hours climbing and what a surprise to see a railway so high up. Third the village of Rivello which looked like something unreal. Perched on the summit of a mountain it reminded me of a scene from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

My impressions of Italy are not too good. The rural people are very backward and live in poverty. They are as hard as nails and their houses are very badly built though they create a good impression from the outside. I think there are  still a great many Fascists in Italy and some of them are not afraid to give one that impression.

At the moment we are billeted in an old bakehouse and the rats are the biggest I have ever seen. The rain still pours down and the sickening mud gets higher and higher. I have had one letter from Evelyn this week, she doesn’t mention anything about our argument though she may see my point of view and all will be saved. I don’t really think my darling will ever let me down like that, she is too sensible and firm and she will never listen to other people if she thinks her own way is best. I love you Evelyn and I am dying to see you and hold you in my arms again.

I am fairly happy here at the moment, more so because there are a few Yorkshire lads here. Jack Taylor from Leeds, Joe Shastall from Leeds, Vic Middlesworth from Skipton, Eric Benson from Stanningley, Monty Bloomsbury from Leeds and Joe Naylor from Horsforth.

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