March 8, 2015 – June 6, 1944 – D-Day

 Lovely day today.. Bright and sunny and the temp is actually above freezing.  Reading these letters makes me realize I need to be more grateful for everything I have.

I was doing coffee for the 10 am Mass at Church today so left here at 9 am. I had heard from the fellow I was partnered with that he was ill and would not be there today.  So, with a little help from my friends I got it all set up but was shocked to hear how noisy the cart was going into the Church and over to where they are now setting up the coffee for after Mass.  But it all went well and I got to see some old friends who were at the service today and meet their two adorable daughters.

I had to clean up by myself but was able to do it, wash everything and be out of there by 12:30 and went down to the FArmers Market.  Annie was on at Proctors so I could not park in the parking lot but headed over to the Garage.  Got our usual Sunday treats in addition to farm fresh eggs, goats cheese, granola and some veggies.

After reading the newspaper D and I went for a walk and then oldest son and his wife stopped by to say hi and to pick up some items for a fundraiser at her church. So a good day so far.  Also had a chat with daughter who was at the airport waiting for her flight and D got to skype with the little girls. LUCKY HIM!!!!

So, now to WWII – have added some info and then three letters.

Since the story is getting more exciting at this point I thought I would add some historical info about the actual events since Patsy really cannot tell everything she hears about due to the censoring of the mail.   Not one of her letters has a censor stamp on it or anything blacked out so either no one read her letters or she was so good about not writing anything they did not bother.  This is a lovely story as part of the Memory Project that tells a story from one of the fellows who took over for the people in Hosp #8 when they left for the continent.  Just more perspective on what it was like working under those conditions. The creativity of the doctors to help save lives.

Here is another article about Canada’s role in D-DAY.

Canada was a full partner in the success of the Allied landings in Normandy (‘D- Day’).

Determined to end four years of often-brutal German occupation, on 6 June 1944, Allied forces invaded Western Europe along an 80-kilometre front in Normandy, France. Of the nearly 150,000 Allied troops who landed or parachuted into the invasion area, 14,000 were Canadians. They assaulted a beachfront code-named “Juno”, while Canadian paratroopers landed just east of the assault beaches. Although the Allies encountered German defences bristling with artillery, machine guns, mines, and booby-traps, the invasion was a success.

Other Canadians helped achieve this victory. The Royal Canadian Navy contributed 110 ships and 10,000 sailors in support of the landings while the R.C.A.F. had helped prepare the invasion by bombing targets inland. On D- Day and during the ensuing campaign, 15 R.C.A.F. fighter and fighter-bomber squadrons helped control the skies over Normandy and attacked enemy targets. On D-Day, Canadians suffered 1074 casualties, including 359 killed.

See also :
Canadian Newspapers and the Second World War : D-Day and the Normandy Campaign

30 May 44’

Hello dears:
Another full day is finished. I am outside from 9:30 am to 10:30 pm practically every day. It is really a marvelous opportunity.

Did I tell you about the place? – it is one thousand years old – being built in 900 – isn’t it amazing! the whole estate is beautiful. huge stone arches at the entrances, a rock – garden, a swimming pool and a stream and all over the ground are stone steps three or four so one can follow the path and use the steps. There are sycamore trees and laburnum and hedges of hawthorne and rhododendrons of every shade imaginable.

To-nite the Vicar of our village was over to give us a talk on the history of the place and surrounding country. He was so nice, nearly eighty yrs old but his memory was very clear. He said “Dickens” got all his material about the schools from this district. Hollie and I had been up to see his church and vicarage the other nite. Very old – dated back to the Normans time and all the famous Norman roads were built at the same time.

Mary Stile is always reading me parts of letters she gets from her sister Audry who tells her about Marye and how much she likes her. Says she is the only girl worth knowing at Nylon. Mary is very sweet and from a rather nice family I gather.

After the war is over I think I will get our “batman” to come to Kingston. I told him he could hang his hat at 193 anytime. He would be marvelous for the children and for Mother’s floors and for the cars or gardening or a hundred different things. He is a “jack of all trades” as Mother would say. He was quite pleased – has no family and would do everything for me – he is a real character.

Had a letter from Liz today. wonderful to hear. the apartment sounds marvelous. The whole house will be lovely. Jane sounds like an angel. Can’t wait to see the picture. Thank you dear.

We have a victrola here and grand records we never hear the popular songs anymore but the records are mostly the ones I have at home. Brings me back to all the fun we had. I hope Eileen and Bill and Ferg and Connie are using them on their lovely machines.

Well my pets, will write soon again. Hope you get all my letters. I seems to write a lot.
love and kisses Pat

Sunday June 4/44
No 8 Cdn. Gen. Hosp

Dear Mother and Dad,
This is a very gloomy and rainy Sun. I slept all afternoon. Got up and had a rather good supper. Played some bridge with a couple M.O.’s and now will get this written. I can always imagine what you are all doing on Sun.

I am sending home some books this week. I buy the odd one to read so you might as well have them. I am also mailing the group pictures and post-cards – they are written on the back. Hope you get them. The snaps are so long getting done I can’t wait any longer.

Yesterday was good fun. Lib and I took a train to a near-by town to meet some friends of ours who were coming by station wagon half way. We had a marvelous day. No one in the town had ever seen Canadian girls. We wear our shoulder flashes marked Canada and now also we are wearing the flashes of the twenty first army so we got a great welcome. Maj Ron Church and Capt Jack Morgan were the lads. The former is from Picton, He worked with Mr Healy in General Motors. The latter from Belleville – his father is a doctor.  We had dinner and went to a couple of pubs.   The pubs over here are wonderful.   You see all the English people as you imagined them. It is like eating and sleeping to them.   Just part of the day – to go and sit and someone plays a piano and everyone comes over and chats. Of course, I am completely fascinated and I adore talking to them.

Last nite a lot of Canadian fliers were there and they came right over – one flying officer – a bombardier said he had just completed his thirty-fifth run and was having some time off. The whole crew from one ship were there. I can’t describe the whole thing. It’s so wonderful and tragic at the same time and how we Canadians stick together. I wish I had more space to tell you everything about it. I hope I remember it all. They drove us back to here in the station wagon – we had a darky driver – there was a party going on here so we were in time to eat etc. Then we danced to the victrola. Ron and Jack are from not far from here. The place we are going to soon. Jack is just back from Italy. With the Hasty P’s out there. Have more to say will write tomorrow.

6 June 44’

Hello dears:

Well there are all sorts of rumors about the mail being held up which doesn’t make me too happy but I shall keep on writing nevertheless and I think maybe I’ll send a cable now and then to make sure you get some news.

Yesterday I received letters from Mother and Marye and Maggie, all lovely – I put them in an envelope and sent them to Sheila. Didn’t know her address so sent them to Cdn Records so she should get it. Thought she would like some letters right away.

I got the parcel from Simpsons – everything was fine. I don’t need a thing now – have a good supply of everything – just be sure to send me Kleenex whenever you send me things.  I need a few pair of khaki wool socks to wear inside my big boots but there is absolutely no rush as I have a couple pair but I have no more coupons and won’t be getting anymore so I’m finished buying things. Also had a parcel from Marg – very sweet of her – there was a small fruit cake and some chocolate cookies and we ate them as soon as the box was opened.   Five minutes and everything was gone.    We are just like wolves.

Bob Daymond is here. He and four other M.O.’s joined us from No 1 Neuro. It was so good to see him. Maj Cam Gray is here also (remember him Dad, he used to play football for Varsity) Last nite we had a fresh lobster dinner at 9:30. they all had just arrived. We paid a fortune for the lobster (out of our mess funds) but everyone thought it was quite a thing . I am not mad about it but we had a good evening.

To-day we got all our equipment. Camp bed, bathtub ( if you can imagine) chair etc. Can’t tell you much. I don’t know much – I suppose you are listening eagerly to the news – it has been good in the East eh?

The apartment certainly must be nice . I hope Mother that you will not do a thing that is not necessary – and Dad too. Take it easy this summer. The children must be wonderful these days. Marye is two – well love for now. Pat

9 June 44’

Hello dears:

Well “D” day is here eh! Hard to describe one’s feelings. I leaned on the piano in the mess at noon and listened to the news. Everyone was there, either sitting or standing or sitting on the floor and there wasn’t a sound. I shall never forget it, hearing about how they did it. I couldn’t even imagine the figures they were using. and I was hoping so hard that the opposition wouldn’t be too tough. Aren’t they wonderful! and isn’t it dreadful that it had to come even though it does bring it – all closer to an end. We had a visitor the next day, can’t mention names and he told us a lot of things, so for us – but it is still the future – but do not forget if you don’t hear from me anytime that I am still writing. seems to me I’ve told you that before but I never want you to be worried because there is nothing to worry about and mail should not be interfered with.

What was everyone’s reaction to the day June 6 over there. I thought about you all – I know how Dad never misses the news.

I keep looking for a letter from Sheila. I don’t know even if she has started yet or not.

Nothing much has happened. We have had “inspections’ daily seems to me. The weather has been dreadful. I have lost all my tan. It is hard too when everyone has to stay in – so many of us – however there is quite a bit to do, all of which I have mentioned before. I also get a lot of reading done. See Edwards Gibson a few times each week. They are still waiting for “permission”. He gives me news of the air force in which I am always terrible interested.

Hear from Dick and Norm. They have been really up to their necks in work as you an imagine. Quite a “show” they helped to put on. I still can’t get over it.

Well my pets what is new with you?   I seem to write so often I hope I don’t repeat myself but I know you like to hear how every little thing is – and it is very fine thank you. But it would be wonderful to drop in every now and then and really check up. However it won’t be long.
Lots of love, Patt


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