A 295 St André, 25th March 1945 From Marie (Béhaegel)
Dear Miss Nancy
I was surprised and saddened to hear of Mrs Moody’s death (Elizabeth Moody, Nancy’s maternal grandmother) so soon after her celebrating her hundredth birthday, because, despite her age, as you say, you imagined that she would always be with you. I note that Mr and Mrs Powell’s health has not always been brilliant either during these terrible war-time years and everyone’s low moral has also influenced matters. You don’t mention Nogent – you have perhaps lost everything you had there, may I ask? You have also had your trials and tribulations, alas! We have also had some very, very serious news, my Paul has just been taken prisoner in La Rochelle. I had only just been so very happy to see him again, when he came home for a week’s leave at long last. He had been promoted sergeant on January 1st. He had been back for two or three days, when the Boches launched a big attack and managed to take 300 prisoners and my poor Paul was amongst them. He actually had a marvellous escape, because a lot of them were killed and the Germans lost even more, because they asked for a truce to pick up their dead. All that happened on 1st March. And I received a card from Paul sent on the 3rd and a letter sent on the 6th March, which he managed to get through to me. He is not complaining as they are being treated well, it seems, but they’re not getting much to eat and, unfortunately, I can’t send him anything, though I tried all ways of doing so. He had gone off with your address and was thinking of writing to you, but dear, oh dear, what a to-do. Fortunately, we live in hopes that the end of this accursed war is in view. I went to see Miss D…, who is in good health, but her legs don’t want to walk any more, as she says, and she gave me a whole lot of things for you all. I think the poor old lady thought that I was going to see you. She is ninety-one.
My husband has still not gone back to work yet, but he is getting better. I am very much the same and they are now giving me a second lot of injections, but that doesn’t stop me carrying a lot of weight, as you will see from the photos I am sending you with this letter – the ones we took when Paul was home on leave. It is not a very clear picture, but even so it does look like me.
All the best to Mr and Mrs Powell and to you, Miss Nancy, my fondest wishes.