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15 October 2014
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A Memory of Christmas 1945. "Silent night"

by Action Desk, BBC Radio Suffolk

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Contributed by 
Action Desk, BBC Radio Suffolk
People in story: 
Mr Geoff Goody
Location of story: 
Western Germany
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
09 September 2005

Whenever I hear the strains of the carol Silent Night (one of my favourites) it brings back memories of Christmas 1945. After the cessation of hostilities in Europe I was in a billet with four other soldiers with a german family in the village of Meppen, germany. Whilst there, one morning we took our army lorry out to the nearby forest and returned to the snow covered village, shortly after, with the lorry laden with Christmas trees. As we made our way slowly back to our billet we threw them out from the back of the lorry on to the road for the villagers, who grabbed them eagerly for they, like us, were anticipating the joy of their first peaceful Christmas since the war.
When we got back to our billet and presented the family with their Christmas tree,they too were overjoyed and the three children were soon busy decorating it.
In return for our gesture,the children of the family, whose ages ranged from 4 to 9 years, gathered round their newly decorated Christmas tree and sang carols to us, ending with a beautiful rendition of "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht".

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