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Christmasses past.

by ODYSSEY

Contributed by 
ODYSSEY
Article ID: 
A3333377
Contributed on: 
26 November 2004

Memories are a vital link in our lives. It sustains us during stressful times.F.i. during the german occupation when memories were all we had .Before the war Christmas was a holiday I'll cherish for the rest of my life.
We did not exchange gifts as this was done when we celebrated St. Nicholaas on Dec 5.We celebrated Christmas for 2 days;The first day was strictly a family day, the 26 th we went visiting family and friends: How I looked forward to walk in the crunching snow, the low winterlight made snow flakes look like silver stars.. We went to church at midnite and had a delicious breakfast afterwards with châteaubriand ,hot rolls and the famous Weihnacht stoll from Dresden.

The day before we decorated a live evergreen-I still love the smell of it-We put real candles in it, the manger was put between the lower branches. We sang Christmas carols: the old standby's but also new ones written for children: we took turns blowing out a candle singing :"pft, pft, pft,"till all were extinguished and off to bed we went.

After the Japanese capitulated I was flown in a B. 25 bomber taking off on an airfield in N.E. Australia.
We had to try to get an 8oo bed Mil. hospital running again.
It was empty :everything stolen by the natives.

Eventually the nurses were billeted in a house. But my friend Janie and I asked for the servants'quarters. It was very pittoresque: we could see the stars through the roof when we went to bed,but it never rained in.
We had a maid:Suarsie who brought her little son with her. He was mesmerized when he saw us decorate a "Tjemara"tree- the closest to an evergreen-but most of all by us stringing real candles on the wire between 2 posts,where his mother used to dry our uniforms. When we lit the candles we sang the "pft,pft,"song ,lifted up the little boy so he could blow out the candles.

I was headnurse of a 50 bed surgical ward for wounded soldiers.
I had to make Chridstmas a memorable event for them. We got a tjemara tree,the boys made the decorations. I got hold of some plywood and with help we made a manger out of it with branches covering the "roof".I made the figures of Mary,Josef,some shepherds out of wire.Their faces and hands we formed out of cotton and wrapped in gauze so they would not fall apart. The boys were allowed to draw faces on the figures.All the patients participated if possible.
The sheep were easy :blobs of cotton for their bodies,a liitle blob for their head and a wisp for a tail.
The clothes of the main figures were made of pieces from discarded uniforms. Baby Jezus was swaddled in parts of a pillow case,so we only had to give it a little head. It's crib was lined with grass.
Th boys drew lots who could draw the babies' face.
At midnite we all sang Christmas Carols :Many a patient did not care that we saw them cry: Another Christmas in another war.
Will humanity finally learn not to kill each other???

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Message 1 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 26 November 2004 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Dear Odyssee

Another fine, thoughtful, contribution from you.

As to your question "Will humanity finally learn not to kill each other???", pigs might fly.

Peter

 

Message 2 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 26 November 2004 by anak-bandung

Hear, hear, Peter. Shame we have to be so cynical, but that's life.
Josephine,the first part of your story transported me to my own childhood. On Christmas Eve my dad would go out and get a small tree (they were cheaper then) with two slats forming a wooden cross for it to stand. Out would come all the decorations and we carefully unwrapped them from the tissue paper and we would decorate the tree with them. Small circles of chocolate or fondant were hanging from the branches as well.. Then the real candles would be placed around the branches. A bucket full of water and a large sponge would be standing nearby and when we all gathered around and the candles were lit, we would sing carols. Some angel hair would reflect the candlelight. Mam would read the Christmas story and dad would watch the candles like a hawk. Chestnuts were baking amongst the ash of the 'kolenkachel'(closed coal burning stove)with us waiting in anticipation.
On Christmas day the candles would be lit once more, and that was it.
Later, the tree would be collected by young boys and placed with others on a field where on 6th January they would set light to them.
Ah! Those were the days, just simple pleasures
love, Rob @->--

 

Message 3 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 26 November 2004 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Dear Oddesee -
I do think Peter is a bit grumpy to-day and I would guess that his PC is playing games on him again.

I was asked the other day by a friend " what do you think the world will be like in 50 years down the road."

Since it is highly unlikely that I shall be on this earth at that time I answered as honestly as I could, bearing in mind the low low depths,particularly in the moral aspect to which the world has sunk in the past forty years !
This is a good question since some of us have had the answer for many years...since 1846 and again in 1917..when the Mother of God came to warn us of the alternatives to our way of living in this age!
Too religious ? .... thought so, as we must not discuss either that or politics. So I will leave it at that as the Humanists among us have replaced God with Man ... so we have to reverse that...and we shall...THEN we will stop killing each other !
All it takes is a lot of Faith !
best regards.... and Rob... we really don't have to be so cynical !
tom canning

 

Message 4 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 27 November 2004 by Frank Mee Researcher 241911

Dear Josephine,
See, told you it would be a success. Our tree was from the farm a small fir dug up and placed in a large bucket, I can still smell the fresh pine smell. It was kept well watered so the needles did not drop and Dad would replace it in its hole after Christmas, I do not know if it grew after that.
We had gas light as well as electric so Christmas was magic. The glass balls reflecting the soft gas light as they hung from the tree. The candles along the high mantle piece over the fire which was glowing with burning logs. The paper bells and other shapes in multi coloured paper and the streamers twisting from corner to corner.
We attended the Christmas Eve service, the Christmas morning Carol Service and would all go out on to the village green singing more Carol's. The war never stopped any of this and we all knew the meaning of Christmas in a spiritual way.
Toys were few, sweets saved to put in our socks hanging by the bed not many as they were rationed but enough.
It was a day of good eating as we always had one of our own Geese, Ham from our pigs and Vegetables from Dads vegetable clamps or pies as we called them.
Yes Christmas was about the spirit in those days and not the grasping for plastic toys and elctrical goods we have today.
We will have peace, but only when people get back to the spirit of giving and not expecting a return. Midnight mass will be full again this year but all the other services bare, we need to return to the real meaning of Christmas and peace on earth to all men that the people of the free world fought the war for.
regards Frank.

 

Message 5 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 27 November 2004 by anak-bandung

But Christmas only covers the Christian section of this world. What about the other beliefs? But if we, who call ourselves Christians, take Christmas as a starting point and the other religions, especially up and coming Islam (I don't know the Koran, but believe it teaches peace as well - the word 'shalom aleikum' springs to mind), take their peaceful message and each of us are prepared to listen and understand the other's point of view, only then we will make a start to world harmony.
However, we would still have to deal with that element of the population, who only believes in destroying things for fun. Only looking at the result of a late Saturday night rampage past our street makes me wonder HOW?
Although I have great faith in most of humanity, I sometimes do despair if we will ever reach that goal that would allow us to become a member of the great universal club (if that exists) At present we are a little like a four-year old: able to recognise good from bad, but still having little control over its own emotions and actions.
Regards, Rob @->--

 

Message 6 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 27 November 2004 by Frank Mee Researcher 241911

Dear Rob,
Grim thoughts but held by many today. I dont call myself Christian in the full sense as turning the other cheek was not my way, instant reprisal was more the mode.
We cannot speak for other creeds or their beliefs. What I saw of Muslim and Jewish beliefs in passing made me realise they have as many internal problems as my own creed and the splits can become bloody.
All I would like to see is the so called Christian celebrations become just that. Christmas, Easter, should not be given over to the gods of commerce, I remember those days as peaceful times without pressure to do something for the sake of doing it such as shopping malls and theme parks.
What ever we are remembering, Christmas day does fall on a Pagan holiday, we should celebrate the meaning for that day after all two days a year free from shopping will not kill anyone, pressure angst and bigots will.
I live in a quiet, I suppose some would say the posh end of town but every Friday night the windows on the back lane bus shelter get shattered, we know it is the local kids coming home from the town centre but would their parents admit it, you guess.
I watch with Horror as people want to go back tribal, Scotland Wales a Northern Parliament? for goodness sake why, tribalism leads to conflict as in the Balkans. The sooner we become a world community the better, we could then settle conflict with toasted marshmallows at twenty paces instead of the arms race.
Wishful thinking and not in my time I know but we can only be hopeful for our grandchildren.
Regards Frank.

 

Message 7 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 27 November 2004 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

I do apologise if I sounded cynical, but in my studies of early man, ancient civilizations, antiquity in general, then right through to modern times, the one thing that stands out starkly is the aggressive nature of mankind. In the past 500,000 years there has not been one single day without murderous conflict somewhere.

The Romans closed the temple of Janus Geminus in times of peace. In over 500 years it's double doors were only closed four times, once in 235 BC under Numa, and three times under Augustus: in January 29 BC at the end of the Civil War, and in January 25 BC, after the supression of the Cantabrians in Spain; the fourth closure is of unknown date. But those closures of the temple totally ignored wars in Persia, India, China, and in the outer barbarian world.

Becoming a World Community is a chimerical dream which can never be achieved - religions and nationalism will see to that. As Professor John Bowkam has accutely observed "If you wish to see where future conflicts will occur, draw on a map of the world the lines where religions, or subsystems of religions, meet".

We may wish to pass on a peaceful world to our grandchildren, but even if we could achieve that impossible dream, our grandchildren themselves would eventually destroy it, for they too cannot escape their aggressive natures and the folly of mankind.

Regards to all,

Peter

 

Message 8 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 27 November 2004 by Frank Mee Researcher 241911

Dear Peter,
Whatever happend to the Hopes of man and the built in Humanity that often makes man succour his enemy.
Was the good samaritan a one off or are those war time stories of people helping others in dire need just that, stories.
That is a dim and dire view of the world and mankind, I may have my moans with the rest of them but if I really thought things were that bad I would sup of the grape and take the pills, it would not be worth staying the next twenty odd years as I have planned.
Smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone.
Regards frank.

 

Message 9 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 27 November 2004 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Dear Rob -
I note that we are now into the popular myth that Islam is a religion which preaches peace...?
I too do not know the Qur 'an so I have to depend on quotes from and by people who do know their "bible" such as
Mr. Alija Izetbegovic - President of Bosnia - " there is an incompatibility between Islamic and Non - Islamic systems;there is no peace nor co-existence between the 'Islamic faith' and the social and political institutiona which are non - Islamic.....The Islamic renewal cannot begin without the religious revolution, but it cannot go ahead and suceed without the political revolution. Our way does not begin with the conquest of the political power, but with the conquest of the people....thus we must first be preachers and then soldiers....The Islamic movement must and can take power as soon as it will be naturally and numerically strong enough for not only to to destroy the existing power but also to build the new Islamic power....' I could go on but that should give you the gist of this "peaceful" religion which is sweeping the world - one way or the other...with the valuable assistance of most deluded politicians of to-day
as the Daily Telegraph pointed out on 17 September 2001 - " The Muslims celebrating the tragedy in America are doubtless recalling the words of the Qur 'an urging Muslims to 'fight a mighty nation,fight them until they embrace Islam"
Are not the Muslims noticable in your part of the country - if not then go to Birmingham , Leicester, Bradford and hundreds of Towns in the U.k. pretty soon they will be strong enough to demand their Sharia law
in the U.K. - no matter how peaceful you might think they are !

best of Luck

 

Message 10 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 27 November 2004 by ODYSSEY

27 NOV. Dear Peter, I did not think your answer was cynical: more a rhetorical question?
And history has given us plenty of answers.
People with their "Instant gratification"complex, big business tying into that:$$$ signs in their eyes.
Very little spiritual input if any.
I do not come close to a shopping center in the Holidays, where people sit on the doorstep at 05.00 hrs. clawing each other to get a certain item:
It disgusts me.
Each one of us has to make an effort to better the world
although cynical people say:"IMPOSSIBLE" and that leaves them off the hook and they can continue in their selfish way.
There just are no easy solutions, but we should not give up.
Start close at home: Give! to the less fortunate without looking in your wallet:Do I have enough for myself??
Thanks for all the input that my article generated.Never thought it would .Josephine.

 

Message 11 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 27 November 2004 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Dear Josephine -

we are just getting started on this one...don't give up now.. it is by these postings and thoughts of others that will make it possible for us to live in some kind of harmony with each other...I can only agree with Frank and yourself ... that commerce has taken over... the humanists would rather we spoke of a Holiday Season instead of Christmas...are they afaid of Christ do you think.?...they should be for if they keep going on as they have been for the past 40 odd years then they .. and we... cannot avoid the chastisement which must follow this behaviour. In the '60's it was very fashionable to say that "God is dead !"
no-one mentioned when Satan had died...as he has not but rather in fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel,
"The Abomination of Desolation has been enthroned in the Sanctuary"

Satan has brought his ugliness into all of our lives ...look at the children's toys today - ugly - Tv shows - ugly - very little soft, old fashioned beauty around ! again too religious ? then have a new look at Rome to-day ! It's all there !
best regards

 

Message 12 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 27 November 2004 by ODYSSEY

27 Nov. Dear Rob. Yes, how could I fotget the small chocolate and fondant circles" we put at the end of the branches??
Chesnuts:MMMM!We ate them with brussels sprouts.Do I hear people groan. I love moest veggies exept schorseneren en postelein. Do you know the english name for those veggies Rob?
We kept the tree till Jan 6 and a cake was n baked with a bean in it_somrthing like a kidneybean,but white_whoever got the bean when the cake was sliced was "King of the Day" and had to give treats to his underlings.
When we were much older it was a bottle of good wine such treat.Memories.....

 

Message 13 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 27 November 2004 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

It was indeed a rhetorical question Odyssee, well spotted :)

And Frank seems to think that I have "a dim and dire view of the world and mankind". Not at all. I was merely stating how mankind has behaved in the past - there are no grounds whatsoever for believing that human behaviour will change in the future. That is not to say that life isn't worth living or that we should despair. Far from it.

Kind regards to all of you,

Peter

 

Message 14 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 27 November 2004 by Frank Mee Researcher 241911

Dear Josephine, Tom,
Cast your minds back, we learned about the gospels in school as children, when we moved on up we had morning assembly with Prayer and a Hymn. We had lessons on the meaning of religion. Our parents sent us to Sunday school and we attended church because that was what was expected.
We may like me have been reluctant worshippers but it was better to go than get the thick ear.
If we took note or not, the idea that worship and social behavior went hand in hand was drummed into us all. One respected others and other peoples property.
Along came the new educational fadists and out went worship in school, respect for anything and the idea it would be better for us all not to conform, look what we have today.
I see the start of a backlash as people realise what has been lost and the rise of other religious ideas such as the Church of Latter Day Saints, The Christian Scientists and the Middle America Movement to name just a few.
This Nanny government could among all the other things it does make the Christmas and Easter holidays exactly that Holy Days. No shops no booze no transport and if I had my way only programs on TV without bad language nudity and copulation. 363 days must be enough of that for any one.
I personally will vote for the first party who say they will introduce lessons on The meaning of giving, sacrifice for the greater good of our children instead of "I deserve a life too" attitude now prevalent. I will certainly vote for the people who give us back our rights from the criminals, that would be a good start.
I know, I am living in cloud cuckoo land but we can all dream.
Regards Frank.

 

Message 15 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 27 November 2004 by ODYSSEY

27 NOV.Dear Tom, I do hope that writings like yours Frank's and mine have any influence on people trying to live in some kind of harmony.
The Humanists, the Politically Correct would do away with the christmas season altogether: Christ is a burr in their life: a perennial reminder that they are wrong,but they would never admit it.
They get aggressive in making horrible ,vulgar TV shows,Toys for kids:Kill, Kill, that is the way to get rid of your enemies.Their voices get loud and people get intimidated.
The extreme attachment to money:often getting corrupt to get it at any cost.
Even the more reason for us to be diiferent not to contribute to their ugliness by buying their "stuff" , even when other people think we are odd. I always told my sons:"DARE to be different.Don't follow the crowds. Let them think what they want.It should be of no concern to you".They took up the challenge and thought it was cool not to follow the popular trend.
Russia promised that they would bury us: not by atomic wapons but changing our way of thinking that would ultimately cause our downfall.Making softies out of kids and preaching ;Money,money is what one needs.
It looks like they are succeeding ,but every action has a reaction:we have to keep fighting back and Satan will loose.

 

Message 16 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 27 November 2004 by anak-bandung

Wow, what a flurry of intense debate! Tom, I did not say that Islam was a peaceful religion, but I thought I had read somewhere they have tolerance as well, although this is not visible nowadays. The problem is that it has been hijacked by the fundamentalists, always dangerous in whatever religion. Even Christianity has had its black side with fanatics which made people burn at the stakes. What I did mean was, that, to whatever creed one belongs to , one is human after all and beside our urge to destroy we also have a great capacity of love and compassion. The big problem is which one will be stronger and as several of you pointed out, there is a lot of evil present nowadays and certainly the media in all its forms and the type of toys do not help.
What does not help either is to give up, neither faith nor hope and belief that our compassion will be stronger in the end.
Rob

 

Message 17 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 29 November 2004 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Dear Oddysee et al

In my Faith....which of course is the Roman Catholic Faith...we too have our problems particularly since Pope John XX111 opened the windows in the Vatican to allow some fresh air in !
What he did of course, was to let in a whirlwind which has all but gutted our Faith ...or it would seem, as the Humanists, Modernists, Progressivists are now scratching their heads wondering why the Faith has not disappeared under their relentless attacks over the past 40 years.
It goes without saying that these people have indeed lost their once held Faith and even the present Pope admits that Europe is in the midst of a " Silent Apostasy ". Now there is a man who should know as he has been at the helm for just over 25 years and most of these attacks have been on his watch.

Without exception, they have forgotten the words of Our Lord to Peter - " Simon Peter thou art Cephas and upon this Rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it " ... so you see they can try their best to destroy the R.C. Faith but they are all on a loser !

He will prevail and will return in Glory and then there will be a period of Peace ! But first...we shall have to pay for all this decadence... the good and the bad !

So you see, it might not happen this year but it would appear to be getting very close !

..... and here endeth the lesson !

God bless you all
tomcan

 

Message 18 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 29 November 2004 by anak-bandung

I cannot enter a debate about religions and quote the Bible, as I know too little about it. All I can say that I am a believer but without any particular creed. I firmly believe that no particular religion is better than the other. In most religions (and I don't include cults) one believes in one higher being who created us and also in most religions there seems to be the same creed: be a good, unselfish human being and do not commit evil deeds.
That is sufficient for me. If only allpeople would live by this.
Regards from an ever hopeful and optimistic Rob

 

Message 19 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 29 November 2004 by Len (Snowie) Baynes

Dear Josephine
Through Frank's good offices I have at last found your site, and what I have been missing. I have been amazed at the fundamental basic good sense exhibited by most of the contibutors -not least by your own. I will not add my own childhood Christmas memories, but the verse preceeding 'A Foreword' to 'The Will to Live' Could be apposite here:

MANKIND
O clever man, who’s time on Earth is fleeting,
Like flowers, expires when ends his day so soon;
Who’s mind encompasses such wondrous cunning
Enabling him to fly to Mars and moon.

O fragile man, with time on Earth fast shrinking,
That speeds his way from cradle to the grave
By wasting time in senseless strife, unthinking
That leads him into trouble, toil and pain.

O foolish man, who’s actions make one wonder
Why is it that he has such feet of clay.
For he who’s wisdom forges fearsome thunder
Pollutes the air he breathes by night and day.

O selfish man, who seeks to beggar neighbour;
And hates his fellow man across the sea,
Prefers to spend his substance and his labour -
Not on the starving but on weaponry.

O man, so oft unfaithful to his dear ones,
Who cannot keep his eyes off neighbour’s wife;
Unwilling often is to guide his own sons -
Undisciplined, they spread both pain and strife.

So is it all black evil man comprises?
Or is there somewhere spark divine concealed?
Is there sometimes a better self that rises
Permits another self to be revealed?

O yes, dear friend, there is a time
When man will lay down life for wife, friend, child;
Will home forsake to aid and succour strange men,
Where ignorance and disease have them defiled.

And so man is a very mixed up product.
Strive you and I a better world to make?
Avoiding always unkind words and conduct?
If not, may we those bad old ways forsake.

Greetings to Josephine and all the other contributors

Len (Snowie) Baynes

 

Message 20 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 29 November 2004 by Frank Mee Researcher 241911

Dear Len,
That says it all what could we possibly add.
Regards Frank.

 

Message 21 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 29 November 2004 by anak-bandung

Dear Len,
That sums us up nicely. Did you write this poem?
liefs, Rob @->--

 

Message 22 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 29 November 2004 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Len 0r Snowie -
We can only agree with your sentiments expressed in the poem but you should understand that you have now ruined a perfectly good thread, which was most revealing in the all through agreement that this life just has to become much better than it has been since the '60's.

Now we will have to go back to the almost constant plea to-day " Did you know my uncle ?" Strangely I had one a few weeks ago where I was able to guide the plaintiff in the right direction of a man who was killed about 50' from me at the time of death ! That was most rewarding.
best regards
tom

 

Message 23 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 02 December 2004 by Len (Snowie) Baynes

Dear Rob,
Many thanks for your comments, and yes, I wrote the poem. By the way, I failed to understand what the trooper was getting at when writing about the effect of my poem on 'the string'.
I honestly believe things are getting worse here, in spite of what the government report. Moreover, the rot in any organisation, be it church, army, government, nation or Boy Scouts, invariably starts from the top. With Blair now giving the go-ahead to his ministers to do as they please in their private lives, anything from committing adultery, to spending taxpayers' money on another man's wife (unless found out), who can wonder at the nation's fall from grace? Len

 

Message 24 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 02 December 2004 by Frank Mee Researcher 241911

Len,
You certainly do have talent, I loved the poem and as I said below that, you said it all.
I think Tom another friend was saying exactly that, you said it all so well it would now kill the thread, who would argue with those well put thoughts.
I also agree we have rot in society that started when Parents gave up on their children and let them have all their own way. My own children were brought up to believe in God and the Family, none of them went wrong they have all done well and brought up my grandchildren in the old traditions. Responsibility begins and ends with the parents not Teachers or Government.
Regards frank.

 

Message 25 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 02 December 2004 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Len or Snowie -
What I meant - and Frank hit it on the nail - was that it was a beautiful poem with which - NO one could argue - and so our discussions would come to an end and we would once again revert to the mundane.

However your comments on the rot in society would start yet another very interesting discussion which - unfortunately has nothing to do with the WW2 saga's which the BBc would demand, although much of the problems began with that war !

best regards
tom!

 

Message 26 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 02 December 2004 by Len (Snowie) Baynes

Frank
Regarding the raising of children, you hit the nail on the head. Like you, we brought up our children the Christian way, and to know right from wrong. Thankfully they have brought their own offspring up in the same way, and the same teaching, thankfully, is carrying on into the following generation. Trooper Tom, in the following contribution, seems to be of the opinion that the BBC will put an end to this kind of discussion, although I note that many of the above contributions seem to be very remotely concerned with WW2.
By the way, many thanks for your helpful advice, Regards, Len

 

Message 27 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 02 December 2004 by Len (Snowie) Baynes

Dear Trooper Tom
Many thanks for your clarifying remarks, I confess to having got hold of the wrong end of the stick.
I presume you are a serving soldier, and will have a more valid opinion on the shocking reports that are being revealed in the Deepcut Barracks affair. Nothing remotely like this occurred in my six years of army experience.
Regards Len

 

Message 28 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 02 December 2004 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Len

To get information on who any member is, click on their underlined user name. Try clicking on 'Troopertomcanning' at the start of any of his messages, you are in for a slight surprise :)

Best wishes,

Peter

 

Message 29 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 02 December 2004 by Frank Mee Researcher 241911

Dear Len,
Thankyou for the kind remarks, I was about to tell you to check out my friend Tom Canning an old and well fought Tankee but Peter got there first.
Click on to the name Tom Canning on his posting and be prepared for a feast, he is a right joker but has been there and done it as you your self did. He certainly has a right to strong oppinions but I manage to keep him in check, watch out for the fireworks when he reads that.
Regards Frank.

 

Message 30 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 02 December 2004 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Frank -
Fireworks - more like a damp squib !
Both you and Peter are so kind to an old codger like me...although I rather fancy Len's presumption that I must be a serving soldier - that would make me in my early twenties once more - sans aches and pains although I must admit to being 100%...less senior's discount, which hopefully will be 15% ! !

Couldnt agree more with Len on the Deepcut Barracks carry on - what was the C.O. doing all this time - not a clue as to what was going on ??? he should be stripped of his rank to start with - and the Police should have been a bit smarter.... though I suppose that is another indication of how far down the slope the British ... and other so called "civilised " countries have fallen in 40 odd years.Thank God that the rest of the Army appears to be as it was, if not a bit better than we left it! Although how they managed to replace me is one of life's mysteries ! Oh well !
regards to all

 

Message 31 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 03 December 2004 by Frank Mee Researcher 241911

Tom,
I cannot believe the Deepcut story, where are the SNCO's. I knew in seconds if there was any sort of bullying other than normal training going on.
A session would be arranged behind closed doors in the Gym and the bully or bullies got their come uppance, at least they got beaten up with training gloves on instead of feet and fists.
I cannot believe any SNCO would not know or would let it happen, they are not doing their job full stop.
Frank.

 

Message 32 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 04 December 2004 by Len (Snowie) Baynes

Frank & Tom
The nearest I came to experiencing anything remotely resembling what occurred at Deepcut, happened before the war started.
Our territorial infantry company was mobilised before the outbreak of war to defend Duxford Aerodrome. The 'Brylcreme Boys' wouldn't have common soldiers in their barracks, so eventually they put us on the floor on The Church Hut.
We made up our beds against the two long walls of the hut, which was about twenty feet wide. I was then twenty years old.
A few beds along from me was a slight young fellow, obviousely well brought up and educated, and not used to roughing it.
Opposite us were two six foot old soldiers, one a burly brute from my own village. Before we'd been settled in for an hour, one of the two stood up holding the necessary accoutrements, and said to his made, 'Come on Bill, we'll black X's cxxx.'
As they started across the floor I saw the terror in the lads eyes. Springing to my feet, I went to the foot of his bed, and almost wetting my pants with fear, managed to growl 'Leave him alone!'
To my complete astonishment, they turned round and went back. I was then a 5'5¾" green private soldier!
Regards Len

 

Message 33 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 04 December 2004 by Frank Mee Researcher 241911

Hello Len,
I know what you mean I was often called a toffee nose because of the more educated accent but never twice.
After a bout of bullying at junior school Dad took me to his boxing club where a wonderful chap took us all under his wing and taught us the noble art of self defense. At senior school it was part of the PT we did along with Fencing Wrestling and every ball game going in season.
Apart from teaching us confidence it also taught us never to back down and often by merely showing you would stand your ground it stopped the others in their tracks, those that did not??? well I never got a good beating, a couple of black eye's and a split lip but still standing. Not many tried it again. I was six foot one as well with broad shoulders.
As a SNCO if I got wind of anything like that it would be finished behind locked doors in the Gym, I did not take any pleasure in doing that but it cured any bullying. We rarely had trouble because like any good story the lads passed it on to replacements and I expect embellished it all, who cares as long as we were free from that kind of thing.
You did what I would have done Len,
Regards Frank.

 

Message 34 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 04 December 2004 by ODYSSEY

Dec 4, Dear Len, Frank, Tom, I am sóó glad that your poem Len,did not kill the thread as Tom thought.
(Frank, thanks for telling me about the new "messages").
I don't know anything about the scanadal you wrote about,but it must be bad and it does not surprise me:
"Foam floats on top ". Yes, the rot-the foam- in any organisation often corrupts:it is a powerplay starting at the top going down unless we try to scoop it out.
.How?: by living and showing by example how NOT to live:Teaching our kids that the way THE TOP lives is wrong .

I once said that it is the power of money that corrupts, if you don't have it you are a nobody.
if you have it the sky is the limit and children of these people are brought up in :do as I do and the rot continiues.
We have to teach to share:"Charity startsa at home" sounds trite, but try it:it is NOT easy to part with ones hard earned money.
In the stockmarket it is said that after a depression comes a hausse.
We are certainly in a depression of morals: selfishness,greed and corruption.

Can we expect that people will climb out of this hole??
Only if each one of us does not give in and tries to bring up children and grandchildren as was written by some of you:Example is stronger than words:
Standing up to a bully ,like you did Len and Frank who had his eyes open as an NCCO had immediate succes and the story was told and retold and gave weaker characters perhaps the strenght to try it too:"Hey, it works!!".

My youngest son was bullied in Jr. High and we gave him self defense lessons that had a remarkable succes.
Now he teaches his 2 sons the lesson he learned:so it might be perpetuating and maybe humanity will climb eventually out of this depression and reach a hausse.?

And it will not arrive too soon.
But we all have to work at it.

 

Message 35 - Christmasses past.

Posted on: 04 December 2004 by ODYSSEY

Dec 4, Dear Len, Frank, Tom, I am sóó glad that your poem Len,did not kill the thread as Tom thought.
(Frank, thanks for telling me about the new "messages").
I don't know anything about the scandal you wrote about,but it must be bad and it does not surprise me:
"Foam floats on top ". Yes, the rot-the foam- in any organisation often corrupts:it is a powerplay starting at the top going down unless we try to scoop it out.
.How?: by living and showing by example how NOT to live:Teaching our kids that the way THE TOP lives is wrong .

I once said that it is the power of money that corrupts, if you don't have it you are a nobody.
if you have it the sky is the limit and children of these people are brought up in :do as I do and the rot continiues.
We have to teach to share:"Charity startsa at home" sounds trite, but try it:it is NOT easy to part with ones hard earned money.
In the stockmarket it is said that after a depression comes a hausse.
We are certainly in a depression of morals: selfishness,greed and corruption.

Can we expect that people will climb out of this hole??
Only if each one of us does not give in and tries to bring up children and grandchildren as was written by some of you:Example is stronger than words:
Standing up to a bully ,like you did Len and Frank who had his eyes open as an NCCO had immediate succes and the story was told and retold and gave weaker characters perhaps the strenght to try it too:"Hey, it works!!".

My youngest son was bullied in Jr. High and we gave him self defense lessons that had a remarkable succes.
Now he teaches his 2 sons the lesson he learned:so it might be perpetuating and maybe humanity will climb eventually out of this depression and reach a hausse.?

And it will not arrive too soon.
But we all have to work at it.

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