From December 4th, 1944 to January 10th, 1945 the men of the regiment "vacationed" in England.  This word, obviously, is misused if accepted in its fullest implication.  Nevertheless, compared to the intensive training which was -now so much water under the bridge and compared to the misery which undoubtedly lay ahead, the "tight little isle" was undoubtedly a vacation spot.  The powers that be surely realized this for they made available the opportunities of passes and furloughs for as many of the men as possible and as often as, possible within the limitations of space and time.  Falling in the scope of these arrangements were visits to Scotland and Ireland.  There were furloughs to visit with relatives who might never have been seen before or with brothers or cousins or even uncles who, also, were here in the armed forces.  And there were special localities which, it was realized, would always be centers of attraction.
     Among these, naturally, was London.  This was the blitzed city--in fact it was still being blitzed!  There was London Bridge.  There was The Tower.  There was Westminster and Buckingham Palace.  There was Picadilly.  There was Limehouse.  There were cultural and historical attractions--as well as many social inducements.
     Bournemouth and Boscombe themselves were by no means slight attractions.  There were the beaches and the walks along them.  There was the Hippodrome and the "cinemas" or the "flickers."  There were the pubs and the fish-and-chips houses.  There was sailboating.  There were skating rinks and a multitude of other pastimes to keep every GI sufficiently busy and happy the whole time there!


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-- -- -- vacation spot of the blitz!

Here was the storied England of fact and fiction--what the war and Nazi venom had left of it.  It had been hit. London would never , again be the same London it had been before.  But there was enough of it left, despite the blockbusters, despite the "buzz-bombs" to justify the words "there will always be an England!"  London Town was still the magnet--it drew many and many!  Covent Gardens, Westminster, St. Paul's (still standing erect amid a mass of ruins and rubble!), Buckingham, The Bridge, Piccadilly--even the war could not change the aura which hung about them, nor could it change The Fog, nor the old-fashioned raucous cabbies.  When most GIs think of England the picture in their minds most generally will be of London "muddling through!"


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