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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Dancing to Glenn Miller

by Campseakate

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Joan Millyard (nee Southgate)
Location of story: 
Horham, Suffolk
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
01 March 2005

Moat House Hostel, St Margaret South Elmham. 1943

There were 25 of us land girls at Moat House hostel in St Margaret South Elmham and there was an American base about 4 or 5 miles up the road, Flixton it was called and it’s still there today, there’s a museum there I’m told.
The Americans were new over here and they’d ring the hostel and ask the warden if we could go to some of their do’s, like a dance or thanksgiving party. It was gorgeous, we had things like ice cream and strawberries, and we hadn’t anything like that for ages and ages. They really made a fuss of us. One thanksgiving, they rang us up from Horham. Glenn Miller and his band were playing there and they said would we like to go. An American truck picked us up and we danced to the band, but it was very crowded as there were people from Ipswich and all round. One of my friends Pam, she’s dead now, danced with somebody out of the band, he was called Johnnie. There was no alcohol at these do’s just tea and coffee. Several of the girls from the hostel married Americans. I went with one for a while, Joe Burke from Los Angeles. He used to take photographs out of the plane. He wanted me to go back to America with him but my mum didn’t want to let me go because it was so far away. Later that day one of the American servicemen showed us round an American Flying Fortress plane. We just looked quickly, it was such a great big plane.

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