May 28th 1945


Freddie, George and I go up to Meppel to try and get a watch for him, and eventually end up in a Canadian officers club in Groningen. We go round some hospital grounds in a jeep with a slightly tight Canadian Captain, and all the women on their death beds wave back to us. We grab a couple of dames and take them into the dance, but no good, and I make Freddie drive all the way back – three and a half hours, getting to bed at 1.30am.

The next day Jeff and I go up to Lubeck where we have heard of pistols for sale, and I buy two Lugers (one slightly u/s) for £7.10 and £2.10 off some airmen, as an investment – I hope. Lubeck is full of German aircraft and on the way up we fly over Bremen and Hamburg. That evening Bill Dodgson and I dash up to Groningen to try and get some gin but we cannot find the place, and as he thinks there won’t be any chance of getting any dames due to the amount of Canadians about, we beat down to Meppel, where we had some success previously. But here too we are too late – 9.30pm – and the Canadians are already at work.

Saturday we have the afternoon off, and Sunday off, so Bill, George and I set off to Amsterdam. We have some trouble finding the town major, but do so, and get a bed in the “Red Lion” hotel. I only have 80 cigarettes for which I collect 80 guilders and some bars of chocolate at 4 G each. Men approach one in the street with cameras, watches and even cufflinks for cigarettes. We then set off for the Lido Club, Bill with some dame he picks up in the hotel lounge. She turns out to have a German accent, but, however, she satisfies him OK. I grab another called Helen and dance around and George gets her friend, an old “gladstone bag” by the name of Anne. We have some wine and beer that we brought over and also a bottle of champagne but later on my dame goes home. Anne is desolated and she takes George off and they bring back one Tina, who is a lot more ugly but quite perky and a bit warm. Bill and his fraulein vanish and we four go off in his car to Anna’s flat, plus a box of our food and Anna’s gramophone. No light but candles and we eat bread and tinned sausage and dance. I get browned off and pinch out the wick, much to the dames annoyance, as they seem to want to dance all night. George and Anne retire and I get busy on a sofa, but with my usual luck there is no joy and it ends in a sort of compromise, though not the usual ‘Papist plot’. As George is in for the night and I don’t know the way home, I have to stay too, and eventually we creep in and join the other two in bed – or rather we stay on top in our clothes rather like on a railway train – it’s a large bed and takes four abreast easily.

Next morning we beat as fast as possible back to the hotel and breakfast, though much to the disgust of the two dames. We then wander around, taking Bill’s woman out to Haarlem, and end up for tea in a rather smart officers club in Utrecht, and back home in time for dinner. We see a woman get 12 players (cigarettes) from a waiter for 20 guilders in an Amsterdam cafe. Children come up and demand autographs. We see columns of Germans with their HDT cookers (?) and driving trucks, all quite happily. We see pranged vehicles on the Appeldoorn-Amersfort road. In Utrecht a food convoy is going through and one small boy gets onto a lorry and lets the back fall, flooding the roadway with potatoes. In a moment the crowd gather round and there is much argument.

Now we hear of a flying control job of sorts in Copenhagen and I must go and see the G/C about it.

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2 Responses to May 28th 1945

  1. a gray says:

    How different the post surrender world is from only a month earlier. What you are posting is a fascinating look into that world through the eyes of your father. Thank you.

  2. Colin Ford says:

    HDT Cooker would be a Horse Drawn Transport cooker, a mobile field kitchen used by the Germans.

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