Remember it was Christmas time, and Frieda and I had only a day to plan a Christmas meal. Somehow Frieda had acquired a plum pudding and we were going to make a custard to go with it. We knew that Mrs. Bedwell kept a bottle of Scotch whiskey in pantry for her nightly toddy. We thought she would not miss it if we took a little for the custard. As we were making the custard we decided it did not taste exactly right, so we kept adding a little bit more whiskey until it tasted fairly good. We felt a little guilty upon looking at the whiskey bottle and decided to add a little water so she would not notice any of her whiskey was missing. This was not very nice of us, and I have often thought that this was a mean thing we did. But we were young and this our first Christmas dinner with our husbands. You know, I can't remember what else we had except the pudding and custard.
Eddie and Jim did get her a bottle of whiskey and gave it to her for New Years', we don't think she ever noticed anything amiss with her whiskey, but we felt better about it.
Frieda and I were good company for each other while Eddie and Jim were at the base. Oh, I forgot to mention, Frieda was also pregnant. There must have been something in the water in Beccles <G>.
We became very good friends and were able to boost each other's morale, as we knew that at any time our husbands would be going back to the states. Eddie did get a pass and we were able to visit my parents in February.
The rumors were still flying that this unit would soon be leaving and we knew that this was going to happen soon. I had a funny feeling that Eddie and I would not be together in England much longer. He was allowed to stay until May 1945. He and Jim went to the base one day early in May and they were restricted, for the time had come for them to leave. We did not even get to say good-bye. This was the worst time in my life. I thought I could not bear to be without Eddie.
The next day Frieda and I made our travel arrangements and we were able to travel to London together. Her family lived in Essex. What a sad parting - we were clinging to each other and crying. I went home to my parents and they were wonderful, giving me all the love and comfort they could. It was almost 3 weeks until I heard from Eddie. He had been sent to Alamogordo, New Mexico and from there to San Antonio Texas where he was discharged. Soon I started receiving letters from him, one nearly every day, and sometimes I would receive two. Oh, how I looked forward to those letters and was always waiting for the mailman.
Time seemed to pass so slowly, (wish it would now) <G>, I would take my two young brothers for walks, I still had lots of friends there, but it was always Eddie I was thinking of.
Then came the big day our first daughter was born; August 30, 1945. What a thrill it was having my little baby Yvonne, it helped so much taking her out in her pram and showing her off to my friends. How I wished Eddie could have been there to see his pride and joy. I was waiting for the time when we could all be together. The babies had to be 6 months old before we would be allowed to travel to the states. We were supposed to get 10 days notice when we would be leaving, but as usual (for me, that is) I only received 48 hours. I had read in the news that the Queen Mary was going to be taking war brides that weekend, and I assumed that I would be on that list. WRONG!
Now I am going to finish this story. Eddie has written about my trip to the States and will post that story. I will tell you this, I sent a telegram to Eddie telling him that I would be coming on the Queen Mary, I forgot to mention that this was early February 1946, Eddie was working with his father in Alice, Texas, but was going to meet me in San Angelo where the family home was. I think when you read his story you will understand why I told you this.
From Bess: Hilda, we will be looking forward to the next installment from Eddie. Don't wait too long!
Note #2: See Eddie's story..