Ten- 24th December 1944
We still remained a few miles outside of Frankfurt even though a month had past. I was patient about it as Captain Rhys often told us it was equipment trouble. We apparently needed so much equipment but we had not acquired it yet. We were to wait for the spitfires to bring them in.
It was Christmas Eve and I lay on my bunk looking to my trustworthy watch, which indicated that it was no more than four minutes until Christmas day. I quietly turned to look at the other bunks where Mark lay snoring with a bottle of vodka in his hand. I then looked below me to find Ethan lying in an awkward position asleep.
I then attempted to go back to sleep, yawning in the process. Then I heard a curious low beeping sound and I immediately felt a shock as the lights came on and party poppers were sent flying. I turned sluggishly to find Gaz, Mark, Ray, Ricky, John and Ethan cheering and shouting.
“Got you this time didn’t I boss?!” Gaz laughed as Mark took a huge swig from his bottle of vodka. Ray and Ricky then jumped to my ladder and said simultaneously “Merry Christmas Marshall!!!”
I arose from my bed and demanded a swig from Mark’s bottle. I do not usually drink. It was Christmas though, I couldn’t resist. Our mini party continued for over an hour until Captain Rhys walked in. Mark was clearly drunk and laughing hysterically, “Captain! Why in God’s universe would you even think twice about getting up at twenty past one?! Fancied paying us a visit? Do you get lonely at night Captain?” He pulled a fake sad face and took laughter from the lads like a comedian.
Captain Rhys held back his anger and shot a furious, telling look at me. Then he left and Mark and Gaz tried to revamp the party, mimicking Captain Rhys. Unfortunately I then had to draw it to a close and drag Mark outside. He started to throw up and continued to laugh. I shook my head at him as if to question his maturity. Then I grabbed the hose pipe from the side of the building and walked back round to find him gone.
“Mark! Get your arse here now!” I shouted. Then I heard a clatter from behind and pulled the bin lid off to find him laughing hysterically. I turned the hose on and launched it at his face and body. He protested and cursed at me. He left then and headed towards the entrance still swearing under his breath.
After Christmas we were restricted in celebrations. We were on duty the following days after Christmas. Christmas was a time for celebration so we were allowed a celebration but we had to learn to control ourselves.
I lay wide awake again; I did not get much sleep during the war. I stared at my watch and looked to the second hand. I was prepared for another huge party to kick off but it was silent. I heard a sniffle. It was 1945; potentially the most important year in Britain’s history.