1945 August 5th

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A 304 Nogent, 5th August 1945                                              from Madeleine Daupeley

Dear Nancy,

Your letter of 29th July arrived today and I am replying right away, because I think you’ll be getting your visa any time now. I am going to see Mrs Holman to warn her that you’ll be staying with us and please do not be concerned about the food situation, because we can get enough for our needs somewhere out in the country. You can be sure that we are delighted to be seeing you again.

Not long ago, I had a letter from Mrs Leplanq. She tells me that, on 12th August in Brunelles, there will be a commemoration service and asks if we three could go together. She also asks me to get her some flowers, because, in this heat, she doesn’t really want to bring some with her from Paris. Leprime will be able to supply a lovely spray of white flowers, which she can pick up when she gets here.  Please tell your friend that I shall also take some flowers for her with a card of her choosing. The same goes for you.  We are very moved by the thought of meeting Mrs Leplanq, whose son you knew so well. She must be really unhappy, and we are so sorry for her. It’s already nearly a year since we in Nogent were liberated by the Allies and, whilst we are really relaxed now, with the Boches no longer amongst us, better times still lie quite a long way ahead of us. Dark clouds still loom on the horizon. Inflation is terrifying and wages change month by month, if not more often. The black market is getting worse, not better, and it makes life really difficult. These five years of occupation have turned our whole country upside down. Prisoners return with a positive attitude, but they are often disappointed, and this has been the case with your returning soldiers as well. Anyway, you’ll appreciate the situation in person, I hope, in just a few days.

We envy Great Britain a lot, but we were very struck, as you can imagine, and saddened, to see your great man, Churchill, lose the election. You cannot imagine just how sincere the affection is we have for your [former] Prime Minister. We owe everything to him. Because, had he not held out in 1940, where would we all be today. We also remember that you suffered as well. We shall have so much to talk about, my dear Nancy, and let’s hope you can spend some time with us.

We don’t leave Nogent, because travel is out of the question. In addition, Jacques failed his baccalaureate, despite having good marks for English. He has to revise for the October re-sit examination. So, you can see that we shall be here, when you come and delighted to have you staying with us.

All three of us send you our love and best wishes, and we send the same to your parents.


PS We can now read several interesting little books about the RAF, and we were amazed at all the things that were kept from us, despite the radio broadcasts. In Paris, we can now buy a number of British newspapers, which we adore reading.

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