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15 October 2014
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An Army Nurse on Christmas leave in Palestine

by Guernseymuseum

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People in story: 
Annette Le Page, Mary Jack, Miss Carey, Mary Dorey
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16 August 2005

An Army Nurse on Christmas leave in Palestine

Annette Le Page was a nurse who had trained in London. She came from Guernsey, which had been occupied by the Germans, so she was out of contact with her home and family. The following is an extract from the diary which is in the form of the letters which she could not send to her family.

- - - - -

Jan.7th 1943
Have just returned from a wonderful leave — given quite unexpectedly. We left Cairo on Dec. 22nd, arriving at Jerusalem on Dec 23. with a Padre friend who escorted us, as there was no room elsewhere we stayed at the King David Hotel, which is the best place in Jerusalem, the food was not up to standard so we fed at the Y.M.C.A. restaurant which is immediately opposite. Margaret & I shared a beautiful double room with bathroom attached, we rather revelled in the luxury of it all I am afraid for two nights, then we moved to a pension after the Xmas rush was over on Boxing Day.
We visited the 16th G. H. which is in the Kaisers Palace on Mount Olivet — saw Mary Jack and all other friends, arranged to meet them at night to go to Bethlehem.
It was a wonderful experience to be in Bethlehem on Xmas eve, we were present at the Broadcast service. It was also very reminiscent of other — happier Xmases — my thoughts were enfolding you all & prayers were prayed for you all, by my friends also.
On Xmas day — we had to celebrate by having our Xmas breakfast at the Hotel — after which we attended the Church of Scotland morning service, there being no Methodist service — the first Xmas service since I left home — I mean in a Church — we walked over the hills and had our Xmas dinner at the Y.M. we spent the rest of the day with Mary Jack at the hospital.
On Boxing day we went to the American Colony, where we were most comfortable — we walked over the hills & went to Nahaiyel a seaside place & up to Metulla, on the Syrian Border. We went to Eir Karin — the village where John the Baptist was born, & climbed the hill, at the top of which, is a house and church owned by Miss Carey — she has a picture of the entire Carey family taken whilst the Bishop was visiting G’sey & what was more had a G’sey grandfather clock — we talked & talked & decided that we would fly home together with Mary Dorey, who is also in Palestine.
We loved the wild flowers - scarlet anemones — wild iris nestling in their leaves on the ground — picked oranges & lemons from the trees — it was a wonderful time — if somewhat saddened by not being able to share it with you both.

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