Katz Letters : England
May, 1944 - July, 1944
Letters from Theodore Katz
Ted traveled to England in early May, 1944 and is stationed there until July. He and his fellow soldiers are camped out at Walton Hall, an estate complete with a castle and gardens that has been repurposed for military use. It not far from Stratford-upon-Avon. The weather is cold and rainy, which is not what they expected to experience in the summer. They are seeing the effects of war in the towns where they go, and rationing is severe. One of the letters he wrote (June 1) is censored, but we have a good idea of what was omitted by comparing it to the writings of other Ghost Army soldiers.
June 1, 1944
It’s the first of June but it feels more like February in Tennessee. What an unpredictable climate. I can readily understand now why I’ve never seen an Englishman without an umbrella or raincoat. As I write it rains and as it rains I write. Forsooth, a pox on this miserable weather.read more
June 25, 1944
I’ve slowly been building up some sketches to send on to you – not many and the subject matter is limited – but at least something to keep the series going. I’ll send them in a couple of days and hope you get them before Xmas. While I’m at it I might as well say that I hope I too, will be deposited on your doorstep before then – and we won’t have to spend another New Year’s Eve on an Army bus.read more
June 27, 1944
The watch I’m sending has stood me in good stead for seventeen years and having a sentimental attachment to it, I’ve decided against exposing it to anything but civilian life. Therefore, I’m sending [it] to you to wear on your wrist until I get back – and every time you look at it, it will tell you that the time for my return is that much closer – and if you feed and water it every day, it will be a great big watch and greet me with a loud “Daddy” when I come marching home.read more
June 29, 1944
Under separate cover I’m sending you some alleged sketches, which I’ve done since I left the land of milk and honey, hamburger, coca-cola, thick steaks, bright lights – and most important of all – you.
They are mostly of characters I have noted – and the subject matter has been selected with consideration for the censors. However, I intend to use them to illustrate the many stories I will have to tell you – and shall use them as notes to remind me of incidents I might have forgotten.
July 4, 1944
It’s the close of the 4th of July which as I’ve been told by friends is some sort of holiday back in the States – but I guess it doesn’t count over here. I guess there’s only one legal holiday that I can look forward to – namely – Armistice Day II – but it’ll be just my luck to pull K.P., guard or something at the wrong time.read more