Sunday, February 26, 2006

Stick it in your Army....Album!

Photo shows: Montage of memorabilia - Memories of made of this

I’m sure that I was not alone in starting an Army Album at the end of the war.
Mine was created in 1946 whilst I was stationed at Opicina just outside Trieste.
Here I found myself with lots of spare time and plenty of memorabilia that I had accumulated over the preceding 4 years so, presto, I had an album.
There were of course lots of snaps and postcards, there were the inevitable Army passes to visit such exotic places as Sienna, Florence and Rome.
There were propaganda leaflets, currency, and handbills for the local ENSA show, route cards and maps.
Here was an arm band of the Afrika Corps, there was an Order of the Day, issued by Field Marshal Alexander, expressing his gratitude to his troops for clearing Italy of the last Nazi aggressor.
There were two years of diaries to stick in, although I stupidly selected the ones that seemed to capture the mood of the time and pasted them (yes, I said stupidly) into the album so that I could not read the underside!
On the point of diaries, originally I had 4, starting in 1942 on my call-up but over the many moves I was to make over the years ’42 and ’43 were lost forever more and I had to rely on my memory and friend’s diaries for salient dates.
Here is a page full of programmes of shows I saw on my first leave back in England, here is an Italian song sheet.
Here is a picture taken after the war of my Sgt.Major, Busty Thomas M.M. in his role as Beefeater at the Tower of London, I took my wife and children to meet him and we were given a private tour of the Tower.
There’s five years of memories pasted into this book and it’s already been re-bound once.
On the credit side, I’ve managed to scan most of it into JPEG images and my kids (now in their early 50’s!) have been given CDs with these and thousands of family photos I’ve taken over the years.

Yes, I did stick it in my Army Album.

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