I have this letter, written by my grandfather to my grandmother... showing some of his experiences just after the war in Europe ended circa late May - June 1945 I guess.... so many thoughts and questions were to my mind arising just having read this , so I thought it might just be interesting to share, albeit I did manage to find... The Crock of Gold (novel) - Wikipedia Re, the novel he was reading. He quite often mentions reading books as he goes (to my grandmother), and as I wouldn't have expected them to have an accompanying library (or am I wrong ) one question, for example, might be where might he have been getting these from? I'd assume perhaps the members of the regiment who had a few in their personal possessions just shared them about, or else he found some on his travels... from people using them to learn English perhaps. Re_George_p1 by Ramiles posted Jan 5, 2017 at 4:33 PM 7880500 Sgt.B.Symes Sherwood Rangers B.L.A. Dearest Phyl, With nine men I am on guard for 72hrs over a factory, one of the modern types built in parkland. They produced small shells and lactate. The work people were mostly Russian. When they were liberated they ran amok for a while, smashed a lot of windows and threw office paper about. Then they decided to camp in the better parts of the factory and I suppose borrow any stuff they require from the locals. Well, here they are and it’s the craziest joint ever. There are loud-speakers connected to a radio, it was going at 12.30 last night and at 6 this morning it was blaring, some of them stand in a circle and sing, anywhere will do, they bunch up tight and let rip, talk about “Darkest Africa”, no wonder the Germans thought themselves the master race if they’ve seen these for the last few years. They have a boss who is more intelligent than all the 499 together and five nursing sisters who are a credit to their profession considering the conditions too. They brew their own drink, they offered some to one of the chaps, he took one sip and warned everyone against it, some say they brew it from potatoes, others say bread, whatever it is it’s deadly poison. A few yards up the road there’s… P.T.O. Re_George_p2 by Ramiles posted Jan 5, 2017 at 4:33 PM …a shower of Italians interspersed with Hungarian damsels, it’s a trial sitting in the office where I have bed, desk and telephone and a man to tidy up and watch (George, the man to tidy up, has just produced a waste paper basket) all this crowd moving in and out. They are supposed to have a pass signed by a higher authority but they are impossible, they think that they have to use it once and then throw it away. Of course there is the other side of all this. They throw their scraps anywhere, they use the trees in preference to the lavatories and there are rats and flies still in the world. They have all this in mind, the authorities, and we’ve been trying to drum it into the boss of the Russians, but what can you do with people who are wood from the neck up. So there will be a rat plague. There’s been dozens of British bombers passing over all morning. I expect they are picking up ex-prisoners. I’m reading a book, probably well known to you, “The Crock of Gold” by James Stephens. It’s just the stuff for reading to Rob. Well that’s a lot about how we are spending our time and what we see, George (the man to tidy up) is a German, he’s one big shake all the time, he was beaten continuously for 56 days in a concentration camp for saying Hitler was no good. So I’ll send a kiss to Rob and Janet and all my love to you dear from your loving husband Ben XX.