A 302 Nogent, 17th June 1945 from Janine B
Dear Miss Nancy,
I know that we’re taking so long to reply, but we were very pleased to receive your letter and we thank you most warmly for it. I have needed to write to you for a very long time, because I was going to pass on to you a message via the Red Cross, but forty words weren’t many, we couldn’t say what we were thinking, so I waited. We thought that you had had news of us indirectly, via friends from Nogent – the Baglands, the Scherecks and the Holmans, who gave us your address.
We`are pleased to hear that all three of you are still together, despite the fairly recent upsets. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for myself, as Daddy died on 21st April 1942, nearly three years ago. He died from an attack of uremia after five weeks in terrible pain. My mother’s health since October has left much to be desired as well. She sees the doctor every month. She has high blood pressure (between 19:10 and 21:10). Her heart beats fast and irregularly. She is very nervy and suffers from rheumatism. Sometimes, the blood pressure has caused breathlessness. That’s gone now, but she has a lot of pain from rheumatism in the lower back and the neck. Mummy doesn’t really want to go out any more into town, because she is afraid of meeting someone she knows. My health is very good. I had my tonsils out in fenruary 1943 and since then I haven’t had any throat infections.
I passed the third part of the Advanced teaching Diploma in 1941, but I am not teaching any more. I have been working at the Mutuelle percheronne (local insurance company) since March 1943. (I chose not to go into teaching, because at the beginning you have to accept a posting to rural areas and I didn’t want to leave Mummy on her own.) and I often speak to Maurice Bagland about you.
Mr and Mrs Bordes are still in Toulouse. Mr Bordes works for the radio (he was appointed to that post in December 1940). They came on holiday to Nogent in July 1943 and April 1945 are they’re coming back again in September. I am thinking of going to spend my holidays there with them in August. Their house was bought by Mr Filippi in September 1940. he let it to his son until January 1945, because it was then that Jean Filippi bought a property in Brou. Since January, Mr and Mrs Filippi have lived there – she is the cashier at Toussards the ironmongers and he works at F… Mrs Geslin, our neighbours opposite, had a baby in January and she hasn’t been well since.
Mr Gaucher (the manager of the Banque regional de l’ouest – the West France Regional Bank) has bought the “Pavillon Bleu“ (the Blue House) and he’s living on his own there, since his wife left him. Yvonne is studying in Paris to be a nurse and welfare worker [district nurse?].
Your house is inhabited by homeless people from the town. On the ground floor are the Robin family whom you probably know (Marie-Thérese used to be at school), The first floor has people from the rue St Lazare – the Bizot family. We’re afraid that the Germans made off with most of the furniture. Our district escaped aerial attacks, but the same cannot be said of the area around the station and the rue St Lazare. Only thirteen were killed and seven of them were forced labour working repairing the railway line: the Germans had stopped them from sheltering from the attack.
We were expecting you at Easter, then at Whitsun and now some time during the summer. Do not disappoint us again – we shall be so happy to see you once more – we have so much to say to each other.
Mummy joins me in sending you all our love and good wishes. We hope your parents are well.
Mr and Miss Hubert are well. They have just sold their house to Mr Billaudel.