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HISTORIES OF HAGLEY - HAGLEY WW2

For ten weeks in 1944 Hagley became home to an American Army Field hospital. This abridged account gives an insight into what happened before the soldiers went on to fight in D-Day. It comes from a publication called A Continental Interlude and this chapter is called "A Pause That Refreshes".

A PAUSE THAT REFRESHES

Great Britain is not large, so it was not long before we were out of Scotland and into England proper, and we sped south through Leeds and Manchester. Both of these manufacturing centers showed signs of German air raids. This was our first sight of the results of aerial warfare. Due to these sights and our later closer observation of the British, we learned to appreciate their stolid, unemotional, quiet, and businesslike attitude to warfare.

There was both sunshine and rain on that trip. In fact, our ten weeks and a few days in England, more or less, followed that pattern. Sunshine. Then rain. Then rain. Then sunshine. Monotonous.

It was on the evening of the 29 of April 1944 that we arrived at Hagley, near Stourbridge, the English Crystal center, and also near Birmingham, famous industrial city, and for that matter near Kidderminster, Dudley, and not far from Stratford on Avon, etc. But then everything in England is near something else. But we arrived, as I say, at Hagley in Worcestershire, and there in the very small station awaiting us were several townspeople and Officer Pound, less famous than most Scotland Yard men, but certainly no less memorable! He was rotund, red-faced and jolly, and dressed in a shiny blue serge with the tall helmet headgear that you’d expect a Bobby to wear. That is if you’ve ever seen a motion picture with a London background. At any rate, Officer Pound livened the party a bit, and as my acquaintance increased with this wonderful character, I found his liveliness was managed, as I had suspected, with spirits.

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