Jan 2 – 31, 1945 (getting caught up)

As the header suggests, I’m getting caught up on all of the missed entries when I bogged down earlier this year, from January through to the beginning of May. Without further ado, here’s January 1945, the beginning of the end of the Second World War.

Lance-Corporal Eddie Halverson (left) talking to Lance-Corporal Phil LaRoque, Nijmegen, Netherlands, ca. 9 January 1945. LAC.

Lance-Corporal Eddie Halverson (left) talking to Lance-Corporal Phil LaRoque, Nijmegen, Netherlands, ca. 9 January 1945. LAC.

Jan. 2, 1945 – Went down to 7th Gen. Hosp. in Turnhout — stopped in at 1098 Work Shop and had lunch with Capt. Pollard then went on. Met Edwin Stuart for the first time. Being the first relative either of us had met in Europe we had quite a celebration. He will spend next Sunday with me.

Jan. 4 — Our nurses entertained twenty Nurses from 8th Gen. Hosp to a tea. They were a grand bunch of girls and we enjoyed having them very much.

Jan. 5 — Joep, Gordie and I went again to Turnhout — had supper an spend the evening with Capt. Pollard, while his men fixed up our car.

Jan. 6 — Vic Railton, Eddie Wolstein, John Helsman, Shaddock, N/S Bright, Thompson, DeRosiers, Joep and myself went to both the 6th Begn. Hosp and 8th Gen Hosp Dance. Had a lovely time.

Jan. 7 — Edwin Stuart and N/S Fair visited us in Zielst. In the evening I drove them back to Turnhout and unfortunately had my throat swabbed.

Jan. 8 — Hans, Ronnie and I went to No 8 Gen Hosp on a Board of Enquiry — rotten job. While there, got notified that I had Diptheria and must report to nO. 7 Can Gen at once. When we got home I found three others with sore throats — a little refugee boy, Mrs. Wilbers and Joep. We all came in and now all four of us are patients here with Diptheria. Darned tough luck.

Jan. 9 — Just told that I must be in bed for four weeks then go to a convalescent Camp for three months. Goodbye Army.

Jan. 10 — Nothing of much interest occurring. Smears still positive. Still in bed and have no more information. Hoping someone will be in from the Unit this afternoon. Brig. Farmer and Ronnie both arrived. The Brig. assured me that he would do all in his power to hold the Unit open for me, and Brig. Elder told Ronnie the same, so perhaps I will get back to my own bunch again. Joep and her mother went back home today.

Jan. 11 — Very quiet and uninteresting her today, but I am hoping some will come from our Unit this afternoon. I have read and written today until I am sick of both. Helen Bright and Hans Geggie from our Unit were in today and we had a grand visit. Hank Williams who came from Italy with me was also in, so the time passes. I ahve my radio rigged up now so all in all, things are going o.k.

Jan. 12 — Col. Lockhardt of the 17th Light Field Ambulance just called in. There is a clinical meeting here today so somebody from our place should be here. Bored stiff. Can’t help it. This afternoon I had several visitors and really enjoyed myself. Brig. Elder was in for about 1/2 hour, Marion Thompson, Verna Murray, Ronnie, Chas Ross, Murray Downing and Hank Williams. This evening Ginger Reinhdardt from the Holy Cross came in and spent the whole evening with me. It was grand seeing her again. Ned Stuart came in later and after he had gone, an English Col. came in and talked for a very long time. The day has passed very plesently.

Jan. 13 — A very quiet day. In the morning Vic Railton and Don Millon came down from the Unit for a while. In the afternoon Dibb was down and in the evening Majr. McNeil dropped in. I am getting used to lying here but can’t say I like it, however, one week is nearly in, only three more to go. Walt McGibbon was in for a few minutes. Have not seen him since June.

Jan. 14. — Sunday — a long day. Ronnie came down in the afternoon and Ginger Reinhardt spent part of the evening with me, but there have been an awful bunch of hours in today.

Jan. 15 — One week ago today since I came in. Ned Stuart was in for a long talk this morning. Just dinner time now, have slept most of the morning. There seems to be a lot of new patients coming in. Nick Carter and Verna Murray were down this afternoon to discuss their wedding. Very bad news — I am losing Marion Thompson and Helen Bright tomorrow — my two original nurses.

Jan. 16 — Marion and Helen were down to say “Goodbye”. Gosh I hated to see them leave. The old Unit will be different when I get back. Ronnie was in this morning for a few minutes. Don’t expect to see anyone from the Unit for a few days now.

Jan. 17 — Lang and Cameron dropped in with my mail and a parcel. In the evening Miss Auld from Calgary came in and talked for awhile. Nothing new.

Jan. 18 — Dolly Vincent was down at lunch time. Mac and Ronnie came in in the afternoon. Very cold and miserable today. News of the great Russian advances.

Jan. 19. — Cameron dropped in. Very stormy today and not much happening to pass the day away.

Jan. 20 — No heat, power or light on today. Ronnie and Mac came down this afternoon and brought young Johnnie Wilbers with them. Just bed time. Twelve days in now.

Jan. 21 — Another day nearly finished. Ronnie was down this afternoon. Poor kid, everything seems to have gone wrong, but it will straighten out.

Jan. 22 — Hans was in, had brought Mac down to 9 F.D.S. Hans goes to England tomorrow on leave. Gordie came in later and spent quite a bit of time with me. Murray Downing has been with me all evening.

Jan. 23 — Ronnie and Maj. Whiteside from #8 came down and held a review of our recent Court of Enquiry. Will me mighty glad when that thing is all cleared up. Nothing new today.

Jan. 24 — Ransome and one of the other boys were down and brought me some letters and parcels. We had a nice visit. usual day today — nearly sixteen days in — only twelve more I hop. Miss Auld from Calgary spent the evening with me. It was very pleasant. Ned Stuart dropped in for a while.

Jan. 25 — Seventeen days about gone. Ronnie and S/Sgt. Howell were down for awhile this afternoon. Gen. Burns inspected the hospital today. Everything was quiet.

Jan. 26 — A lot of visitors today, Henderson, Slim and Sgt. Brady, then Sgt. Carter and N/S Murray, and finally Maj. Gross of Calgary. My eighteen then day is now about over. Maj. Stuart received notice today to go to No. 21 Gen. at St. Omer. He is not awfully happy about it, but his own Hosp. 320 is not opened yet.

Jan. 27 — A very good day today. My first negative throat culture. Col. Hazzard, Major Gross, Archie Hardyment, Paul Carson, Capt. McDonald were in today, so I have had visitors nearly all day.

Jan. 28 — Ned came back tonight from Zeelst where he spent a week end with my folks. I expect to get home one week from today. Boy, that will be the day. Slim came down and spent the afternoon with me — it was the first real long talk I have had with Slim since I loaded him on the ambulance in Italy.

Jan. 29 — Very cold, Ronnie and Van were down today. Freddie Jenner dropped in for a visit tonight. Buzz bombs falling around all night made an awful racket. Two negative cultures now, in hopes of going home on Sunday.

Jan. 30 — Freddie came in for a long chat this morning. Dolly Vincent and Lt. Col. Stone were in this afternoon and Eddie Walstein was down this evening. After they all went, I have had quite a spree of writing letters. Another day about over, hope for a negative culture tomorrow.

Jan. 31 — Eddie Walstein was in. Verna and Nick came back My culture came back positive, knocking all my plans in the head. A wee party at night.

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About Rob Alexander

I am a writer, photographer and historian and the author of The History of Canmore, published by Summerthought Publishing of Banff, AB.

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