Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A censored Air Letter from North Africa

On a previous posting I mentioned my weekly visits to Lew (Larry) Fox and our going through his box of "treasures".

This week's visit turned up this Air Letter that he'd sent home on the 24th June 1943. We were both amused at the amount of censoring that had taken place so I went to the 49th LAA Regimental Diaries to discover where we were stationed when he had written the letter. The Diaries for that period read as follows:

On 21 Jun 84 Bty moved with 11 Bde Gp to Hammamet, 30 miles SE of Tunis,
On the 22nd 90 Bty moved with 36 Bde Gp to Hammamet
On the 23rd RHQ moved to Hammamet. The two btys exercised with their bde gps.
On 26 Jun 280 Bty arrived at Hammamet from Algeria with 38 Bde Gp.

I find it quite fascinating to be able to "dot the i's" after sixty odd years !

(Click on COMMENTS for further explanation)


Blogger Ron Goldstein said...

Further to the "Censored letter" article above I feel a further piece of information is required.

The Regimental Diaries for July include the following:

On 6 Jul the btys began to move with their bde gps to Sousse and RHQ moved there on 9 Jul.On 21 Jul a warning order was received for the regt to embark for Sicily. 84 Bty, with 11 Bde Gp, moved first and embarked in LSTs at Sousse on 23 Jul.

One can now well understand the reason for tight censorship when we were only weeks away from the Allied landings in Sicily !

Wednesday, 20 December, 2006  
Blogger Tomcann said...

..... and you don't mention the heat ...or the flies...happily the famous "Green Envelope" was being constructed in the U.K. about this time - as I mention in my Tale - "Green Envelopes for Tank Bde Rimini"

Wednesday, 20 December, 2006  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Of course, the good thing is the letter has been kept for all this time. What an exciting document this is!

I remember the film from this time (with Clifton Webb I think) about 'The Man That Never Was'. Feeding the Germans false information based on 'accidentally' discovered letters and documents. This suggests to me that there may have been even more careful over censorship at that time.

Did any of you ever use special code words or phrases that could only be deciphered by the person you were sending it to? This seemed to be one way some people conveyed the information without contravening censorship.

Thursday, 21 December, 2006  

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