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‘Guy Fawkes Night’ with the Kiwis

by actiondesksheffield

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Contributed by 
People in story: 
Mr. F Burditt
Location of story: 
Cassino, Italy, Sheffield, England
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
25 July 2005

The above photograph shows the two New Zealanders with members of Mr. F Burditt’s family standing in front of the bonfire before it was lighted on ‘Guy Fawkes Night’ November 05, 1945. This would be the first time that the anniversary of the foiling of the ‘Gunpowder Plot’ would be celebrated by the lighting of bonfires and the setting off of fireworks since the start of the war and the subsequent ‘Blackout’.

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Roger Marsh of the ‘Action Desk — Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Mr. F Burditt and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

‘Guy Fawkes Night’ with the Kiwis

Mr. F Burditt

In 1944, five friends and I were isolated from our unit, south of Cassino in Italy. A unit of the New Zealanders befriended us. They gave us blankets, a tent and fed us for three full days. I exchanged home addresses with two of the Kiwis, never thinking that when we parted, if we survived the war, we would ever meet.

In November 1945, after the war had ended, my two Kiwi friends were given a month,s leave in England and travelled to my family home in Sheffield. They gave my family a big surprise when they arrived at our door because at that time I was still stationed abroad.

It gives one a warm feeling for our friends in New Zealand to think that when they were thousands of miles away from home, they still remembered a chance meeting in Italy and for the help that they willingly gave to strangers in hard circumstances, when it was needed.

The family and friends of Mr. F Burditt shown in the above photograph are starting with the two men standing to the right of the two New Zelanders, a Family Friend, Mr. F Burditt's father. standing to the right of the New Zelanders is another family friend with Russell his brother's friend stood in front. The front row from left to right Mr. F Burditt's yongest brother Harold, Mr. Jim Corbridge, Mr. F Burditt's eldest nephew Ronne, Mr. F Burditt's eldest brother Stanley, Mr. F Burditt's eldest sister Lilian, Mr. F Burditt's youngest nephew Frankie sat on Mr. F Burditt's mother's knee, Mr. F Burditt's youngest sister Kathleen.


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