A bit of detective work...was this a 24th Lancer's "American"1943 Xmas?

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Ramiles, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I was reading those posts on WW2talk on "Yank food"... Yank food!

    ...and recalled I had scanned this letter of my grandfather's a little while back, and while the food wasn't perhaps as exciting, it was different for a Brit in WW2 and of its time perhaps...

    It couldn't, I think, fit in with gd. Ben's 9th Lancer period, and for the time when he was in the SRY it wouldn't seem to make any sense for him to have been nr. Hull for the Xmas of 1944, or even for this to have been as late as 1945 after the end of the war perhaps.

    I've been reading the relevant bits in NHL (None Had Lances - the regimental history of the 24th L) and the 24th L Wardiary and they don't seem to mention a 1943 Xmas (for everyone) with the Yanks - although the area they (24th L) were in around 25th Dec 1943 - nr. Hull etc seems to fit rather well - albeit it looks almost like he (Ben) was in some smaller group perhaps and might have got Xmas with them (the Americans) as some sort of perk, cross cultural liaison, or accident if he and the others couldn't get back to the rest of the regiment etc.

    Xmas Day

    Dearest Phyl,

    I really had to wire so I hope you didn’t mind. Couldn’t wait for the reply as the bus left for Hull at 2.30pm. But when I got here and explained to the Americans they were as good as gold and I worried that phone tween here and Withernsea* till I heard news that Rob is O.K.

    S’pose you’ll want to know about me. Well we got here about 4 and they gave us “Tea” they call it supper, at 4.30, because tea isn’t their beverage and they don’t use the word. Then they fix us with bed and we were left to our own devices so we went to the pub. I couldn’t get anywhere near drunk as we had Saurkraut to eat. A pickled white…

    Page 2:

    …cabbage, but they say it’s pickled in brine. Some other stuff also of a certain flavour helped in the sobriety line.

    Breakfast was at 8am. There was grapefruit juice first and did that give the tum a lovely feeling, coffee lots of sugar and tin milk, pancakes, flapjacks and maple syrup, and some kind of sausage meat and butter in plenty. I ate a lot of flapjacks.

    We could use the phone to anywhere in England if we wished, some tried but couldn’t get through!

    Some of us went for a good walk in the moors and lunch 12.00, lashings of Turkey for everyone, and the etc. 20 cigs, sweets, and coffee, no alcohol.

    Page 3:

    All this time we just helped ourselves as one of them. Then they called us together and the Captain gave us each 60 cigs, chocolate and sweets which will eventually arrive at No.19, and 5/-.

    This afternoon I washed and shaved and everyone appeared to be resting so I went off to the flicks. It was a silly Fargan thing ** so I didn’t think it worth while to miss tea, sorry supper.

    Still Xmas day about 11.15. This evening I went on the beer with a chap from New York. Finally ended up by writing two pages in a letter to, address Page 4…

    Page 4:

    Mrs.James Lyster
    1624 Proctor Avenue,
    Waco. Texas.

    I told the Texas I would give his wife’s address to you and he said he hoped you’d write, he’s a nice chap so do your stuff. The other address I have is:

    Helen. G. Burke
    502 Summer Avenue
    Newark. New Jersey.

    But it seems this is as yet only a courtship, but he seems very fond of her.

    Anyway Texas did the Censor stuff on what I wrote and he was very pleased indeed. So I’ll go to post and send all my love to my sweetheart. Cheerio dear. All love Ben XX.

    I looked up the addresses on google, and they are both still pointing at something... ;-) the one in New York looks like what I guess (?) is a Brownstone apartment block perhaps whereas the other looks like a small suburban house that I'd be surprised had "survived" since 1943 - so while it might be WW2 period - perhaps otherwise it is just something there, rebuild at the same address.

    502 summer avenue newark nj - Google Search

    1624 proctor ave waco tx - Google Search

    * Withernsea Withernsea - Wikipedia

    ** No idea at the mo. off hand what "Fargan things" in the way of films are/ were, though I suppose it could have been "Jargan things" or at a push perhaps Fargo. I couldn't see another word it might have been but I guess it could be almost anything as it's a bit rough to read that bit.

    Additionally, next when...

    James Lyster - U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 - Ancestry.co.uk

    Gave something like 135 possibles my heart sank a tiny bit, and this at first really put me off - pursuing any further - until I looked a bit more closely - and could see actually only one on there that had the right name - the others weren't in fact, even all that close. And it says "Texas" - for him too ;-)

    So I guess I'd hazard a pretty firm guess that this is/was the man: Mr James J. Lyster perhaps :)
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
    norton 407545 and SDP like this.
  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    The transcript of the 24th L WD for Dec'43...
    ...showing them in the Hornsea / Bridlington area circa 24th-25th December 1943: Hornsea - Wikipedia


    3/12/43 ‘A’ Sqn fired on Strensall ranges.

    5/12/43 The Regiment was visited by a Chrysler technician.

    6/12/43 The Regiment was given a further visit by a Blood Transfusion team, and all those Officers and men who had missed the previous visit volunteered as blood donors.

    Selected Officers of the Regiment attended a lecture on “Combined Operation and Beach Organisation” at the Spa Theatre.

    The Commanding Officer, Lt/Col.M.H.Aird, 9th Lancers, after three years in command of the Regiment, left the Regiment for duty as 2nd in Command, 27th Armd Bde. Major.W.A.C.Anderson, 17/21st Lancers was promoted to Lt.Col and Command of the Regiment.

    7/12/43 The Adjutant and Signal Officer took part in 11 Armd Div Rear Link exercise “Beverley II”.

    9/12/43 The Commanding Officer attended an 11 Armd Div Study Day exercise “Le Taureau Noir I”.

    ‘B’ Sqn fired on the ranges.

    10/12/43 GOC Northern Command visited the Regiment and spoke to all Squadron Commanders.

    A Gunnery Circus visited the Regiment during the afternoon.

    Rolston ‘C’ Sqn fired on the ranges.

    Bridge Hewick ‘B’ vehicles from all Squadrons practised wading on the wading site.


    11/12/43 The Regiment was accorded a further visit by the Gunnery Circus.

    2/Lts H.J.A.Cassidy, Q.Bays and K.E.Grey, RAC were attached to the Regiment.

    12-22/12/43 The Regiment was visited by the Officer Personnel Selection Team.

    12/12/43 Major.G.L.Streeter, MC, Q.Bays joined the Regiment for duty as 2 i/c.

    13/12/43 Major.Gen.Roberts, DSO, MC, GOC 11 Armd Div addressed all Officers in the Spa Theatre.

    Rolston 2100 Selected Officers and OR’s of the Regiment experienced the effect of being fired at by night with tracer.


    14/12/43 ‘A’ and ‘B’ Sqns fired on the ranges.

    Spaunton ‘C’ Sqn fired on the ranges.

    Rolston Further Officers and OR’s of the Regiment experienced the effect of being fired at by night with tracer.

    Hornsea 15/12/43 ‘C’ and ‘HQ’ Sqns fired on the ranges.

    Spaunton ‘B’ Sqn fired on the ranges.

    Rolston Further Officers and OR’s of the Regiment experienced the effect of being fired at by night with tracer.

    Bridlington The Regiment was visited by the Army Commander.

    Hull 19/12/43 ‘B’ vehicles from all Squadrons practised wading on the wading site.

    York 1100 The Commanding Officer attended a lecture by AOC, 74 Group on

    Air Co-operation at the Tempest Anderson Hall.

    Hull 20/12/43 ‘B’ vehicles from all Squadrons practised wading on the wading site.

    Bridlington 29 Armd Bde workshops personnel inspected the ‘B’ vehicles of the Regiment.

    Hornsea 23/12/43 ‘A’ and ‘B’ Sqns fired on the ranges.

    Hornsea 24/12/43 ‘C’ and ‘HQ’ Sqns fired on the ranges.

    Bridlington 25/12/43 A Holiday. The normal festivities were observed and a Regtl xmas party was held in the evening.

    26/12/43 A Holiday.

    Rolston 27/12/43 ‘HQ’ Sqn fired on the ranges.

    Bridlington 29/12/43 The Commanding Officer, Signals Officer and Intelligence Officer attended a lecture on “Signals Security”.
  3. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased

  4. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Thanks RCG,

    I did look to see some examples of films that were (generally) in the cinemas around December of 1943...

    IMDb: Year: 1943

    And they might have been re-showing something, that Xmas day, around Hull, that was perhaps even released some years before.

    I did try with "google" and it brought up Fagan as a def. possibility too.

    I was looking at the "F" perhaps too on the letter and it could almost, also, be a "T" maybe, as it's not too dissimilar to the "T" at the start of the "This" at the top on here...

    Which would I guess make it.... "Targan" or "Targau" ;-) which doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense - then I thought -maybe Tarzan - i.e. as in clutching at straws now ;-)

    The Numbers - Movies Released in 1943


    August, 1943
    August 14 This is the Army Musical $19,500,000
    November, 1943
    November 26 Girl Crazy Musical $3,800,000
    December, 1943
    December 24 A Guy Named Joe Drama $2,627,000 $5,363,000

    December 25 The Song of Bernadette Drama $12,500,000

    December 31 Bell Bottom George $0
    Get Cracking

    Perhaps by "Fagan" thing he might have meant "Girl Crazy"

    Girl Crazy (1943 film) - Wikipedia


    All very hard to say ;-) The mystery to me is how my nan was supposed to know back then exactly what he might mean. But I assume it was something that they would have understood (or he clarified later in some way) and by then she was very familiar with the way he wrote and what he meant.

    All the best,



    Tarzan Triumphs - Wikipedia


    Tarzan Triumphs is a 1943 adventure film in which Tarzan fights the Nazis.
    Release date : February 19, 1943

    Plot: "Tarzan and Boy are living on the Great Escarpment, though Jane has returned to England. A small force of German paratroopers lands and takes over the lost city of "Palandrya" as an advance base for the conquest of Sub Saharan Africa. Tarzan continually ignores the requests for help from the helpless and enslaved Palandrians, saying, "Jungle people fight to live, civilized people live to fight."

    Only when Boy is kidnapped by the Germans does Tarzan shout, "Now Tarzan make war!" Tarzan infiltrates the lost city, destroying a machine gun and defeating the German invaders with his knife and an elephant blitzkrieg. The film's final scene has Cheeta speaking into the defeated Germans' short wave radio to call Berlin; the Germans mistake Cheeta for Adolf Hitler.


    Tarzan's Desert Mystery - Wikipedia


    Release date : December 26, 1943

    "Like its immediate predecessor, Tarzan Triumphs, this movie makes reference to Tarzan's mate, Jane, played in earlier Weissmuller films by Maureen O'Sullivan, but it does not show her on screen. The explanation given is that she is in England helping the war effort. (When the character of Jane finally did return in the next Tarzan film, she was played byBrenda Joyce, not O'Sullivan.)

    The film revolves around Tarzan's quest, at the urging of Jane, to find a rare African serum to help Allied troops. Tarzan's son, Boy, manages to tag along as the apeman journeys into the Sahara, and the two are soon joined by a rambunctious horse and a female American magician, played by Nancy Kelly.

    The story is mostly a fantasy adventure — with "Arabian Nights"-style characters and sinister Nazi spies — but it also includes considerable comic relief and even science fiction elements. Critics complained that it was aimed more toward juvenile audiences than previous Tarzan films had been.

    I suppose with Tarzan fighting the Nazi's either might be "a silly Tarzan thing" ;-) in his mind...

    It does say release date... December 26, 1943 but I guess it is just possible that they might have chosen to have had an early showing for Xmas day...
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  5. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    24th Lancer - Xmas Cards - 1941 & 1942...

    24th Lancer Xmas cards.jpeg

Share This Page