1945 January 25th – February 9th

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A 292 Nogent, 25th January 1945                                       from Miss Schereck

Dear Nancy

Mrs Holman has given us news of you and passed on to us your best regards, which we were pleased to receive. We have thought of you many times during these long years, of you and of all our friends from England, whom we have also heard from.

Nogent will be happy to welcome you back, when you are able to return. You will find that our poor country of France is bloody and bruised, but determined to take its place in the world again and bind up its wounds. It will take some time to do this, and demand courage and perseverance, but France’s re-discovered freedom will give it the strength to overcome.

Our little town has had to endure quite a lot of bombing, although there was none in your particular area, which was some way from the main targets. We remained in our own home. I retired in 1941, but I am very busy in my role, looking after house and home, at these difficult times in our lives. My sister still works at the school, which has become a modern secondary school, preparing pupils for the baccalaureate. Both of us have very fond memories of your parents and we send you are fondest wishes.

M. Schereck

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A 293 Courville, 9th February 1945                                                from T. Fournier (postcard)

Delighted to hear from you (card arrived yesterday). Several times, very discreetly, we have tried to find out whether you reached England. The last we heard of you was that you were just past Le Mans on your way to a port on the coast.

Bravo, all three of you escaped the dreadful concentration camp, where the least of our worries was being under house arrest. We sincerely hope that Mr and Mrs Powell have been able to overcome any serious misfortunes. But life in England was in every way preferable to what we experienced. Four years under the jackboot, that’s the problem. It’s all about living in freedom.

I was a great sadness for us to hear that your house had been ransacked and that the Boches were occupying it and masters of all they surveyed, all the more because it was your house and, above all, after the defeats in August and September 1940. Let us possess our souls in patience for a few months more and the Boches will get their desserts. But we mustn’t repeat the mistakes made after the 1914-18 war.

We have all survived the agony unscathed. In Nogent, the Thursday of the week after you left, bombs damaged my parents’ house. It’s very lucky for them that they were away.

And on 24th July 1944, four days after Jean-Pierre was born, we ourselves were nearly killed by two bombs dropped during an aerial battle over our heads. We were living in a property just outside Courville in the Chartres direction. The Boches evicted us from the establishment on 21st October 1944 – we were given 36 hours to leave.  Fortunately they didn’t insist on having our furniture. After being moved on four times during the year, we are now installed back home again.

We shall be delighted to see you again and hear how you managed to escape.

Your dear grand-mother died knowing that your armies were triumphant. And that was a real satisfaction for her.

Ginette and Janine, who often come to the house, asked if we hadn’t had any news of you. They jumped for joy when they read your card.

Hoping to see you again soon.

Very best wishes

T. Fournier

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