Since today is a day that the Irish celebrate being Irish I think I will think about that for a while and all day I have been thinking I wish I could be there to see how they celebrate. I know the folks at Weirs Restaurant are having fun and eating very well. I think that is where I would want to be. Or at a pub in Galway after the good dinner. Things are close enough we could have had a wonderful dinner, a drive west and night caps in the Spanish Arch. That would have been a yummy St. Patricks Day. And it is warmer there than here.
Those are two favorite scenes of mine from Galway. The picture of the Galway Hooker was taken from our apartment window.
So now on with life in WWII in France with Aunt Pat.
This letter is out of order. Not sure how I did that but it was written in the same week.
July 28, 1944
Lieut (n/s) P O’Connor
No 8 Cdn Gen Hosp
BLA (British Liberation Army)
Somewhere in France
Dear Mother and Dad:
Well, here I am at long last and I have so much to tell you and a lot I would love to say but I can’t. We had a fairly good trip over. We came on a landing craft and took over a day. Of course we sat on it for hours after we got on before we left. It was a wonderful day and the most thrilling site. Too big to describe and I couldn’t anyway. The whole thing is too tremendous and too big for me. I am left completely speechless. We sat among the largest convoy I will ever see with every kind of ship imaginable. But again I can’t tell you much. We sailed at nite and it was fairly quick, quiet and uneventful except that once during the nite I had just gotten to sleep; and we were lying on benches piled high. We hit a tanker, one of our own, but I have never seen so many girls get up so fast before and no one said one word. I half got up, then waited and as nothing else happened went back to bed.
We arrived and were met by lories, open ones and drove up to our camp being cheered and hailed by all the troops. Quite a thrill, all the grimness, dirt etc forgotten because they were glad to see us. Our truck lost the convoy and sailed off by ourselves and got very near the front before we were stopped.
Some of the French people are hostile, I guess the Germans were good to them because of this being near our invasion point. I dislike them needless to add. We are close to the towns mentioned in the news, but of course we would have to be because they have taken just so much territory. We are close but not dangerously close to the fighting lines. The big guns seem to shake the earth and at nite there is lots of action. Don’t worry about me. I am satisfied at last to be here and very happy to be at work – there is no real danger and if there were I am willing to take that chance. That is a silly word to use even over here right now.
The setting up of the hospital I will tell you about later. It will take some time to set it up but it’s marvelous experience. We are living like we were in my last letter that’s all I can say.
Our first nite some flyers who knew Betty R came over to see us and brought some French wine so I have my first drink of “real” wine. Quite good. One of the lads was Danny Noonan from Kingston. Only lived there a short time. A grand lad. Another was Squ Leader Ted Wood, went to Queens. Played Jr Football. Perfect to see them all.
Food is all out of cans. very little bread. no coffee, just sweet tea. rations of candy, of cigarettes, matches, 3 pieces of toilet paper a day. I save them for our future patients. Water very limited – one basin full a day. I just save the candy etc for the pts. reading that last.
Well my pets, I’ll write as often a I can. love of love, Pat