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I'll Be Back When Summer's in the Meadow Vol 3

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I'll Be Back When Summer's in the Meadow

A World War II Chronicle

Volume 3, 1945-1946
  • Compiled and Edited by Melanie A. Ippolito
    • Merriam Press World War 2 Memoir Series
      • First Edition 2013
      • 314 6x9-inch pages
      • 87 photos and documents
In this concluding volume, the war in Europe is winding down and at last comes to an end—but there was another war to be fought—in the Pacific.

As her parents continued with their struggle to meet they are faced with an array of new challenges.

In September of 1945 they finally do come together, are married and able to take a brief honeymoon before they are separated again for another seven months—until her mother made her way over to the States on the U.S.A.T. Henry Gibbins with a contingent of War Brides in April of 1946.

Reviews

"This is a three-volume set of love letters between an Irish woman and a U.S. Army sergeant during the war. The letters detail the war’s effect on both of them." From the WWII History Magazine, "New and Notewrothy," April 2014.


Quotes

Never in all my life have I known it to be so cold here and to make matters worse there is a terrible shortage of coal.

Do you know, Ray, I have so many large bundles of your letters that I often wonder how I'll get them to the States when we get married. I'll never burn them and I'm determined to bring them with me.

This April will be my 4th year in the army—3 years since we met—and here I am in France. It seems like this war will never end, but it has to.

Just because there's a breakthrough in the lines doesn't mean I'm in that section. I could be miles away and even if I were near it we wouldn't be in danger as we always move out.

They don't know that while you're in the combat zone it's impossible for you to get a furlough. I never talk to them about it because the less said about it, the more peaceful it is for me.

To be quite frank I was in such a state I decided to break with you and go to London to try and forget.

I really can't remember the last time I wrote to you as I have forgotten. We are in Germany now and with the front moving as fast as it is—it keeps us quite busy trying to keep up.

Two came up to our table and wanted to know if we wanted to spend the night with them, they wanted 500 Franks, about 1 pound & 10 shillings. We finally got the price down to 15 shillings, they said OK, let's go and then we told them we were only kidding and didn't mean it. Muriel, you should have heard them swear at us and in English too.

The wind was blowing hard and almost blew the tent over. Inside, if we had a boat we could have rowed it around. It was a river in here and I thought for a while we would be carried away by the water.

We have wood beds—wood springs with straw mattresses so you can see how nice it is. All night long I could feel bugs crawling all over me, honest.

There must be 1000 soldiers on this train all going back to Germany. We didn't sleep much last night as the floors are hard and dirty and we're packed in like sardines.

Since the beginning of the war and clothes rationing here we've all had to do without many clothes and the ones we've got, we've had to make last for a long time. I certainly hope the new clothing coupons are issued before I leave for the States.

In a way it's funny, Ray. It used to be that I was waiting for you to come to me and now it's your turn to wait until I come to you.

The only time I was in an air raid shelter was when a warden forced me into one—one night in town and then I had to stay in it from about 10:30 until 5 o'clock in the morning. The centre of town got it that night and the air raid shelter I was in was only a few blocks away from the buildings that were hit. Pat McClelland, who was with me, cried the whole time but I just stood there as calm as could be even though I thought I'd never come out of it alive. I wouldn't even smoke a cigarette because I said I didn't want to die with a cigarette in my hand. Crazy me!

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