Saturday, May 19, 2007

Visit to the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, November 1945

Outside the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, 25 November 1945

The photograph shown above was taken outside the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem, Middle East on 25 November 1945. The soldier standing 5th from the left on the back row is Corporal Jim 'Marra' McGuinness MM from Whitehaven, Cumberland (now Cumbria). For a previous account I posted to the BBC "People's War" website about Jim McGuinness MM click here.

Although at the time of psoting this photograph I do not know the names of any of the others on this photograph I believe at least some of them served, like Jim McGuinness MM, in the 6th Airborne Division during WW2. In 1945 after the end of WW2 I understand the 6th Airborne Division were posted to what was then known as Palestine in the Middle East. The soldiers in the photograph appear to be on leave and visiting some of the religious sites in the area. I have given a copy of the photograph to the local secretary of the Parachute Regiment to see if anyone else can be identified.

The Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem is on the traditional birthplace of Jesus Christ. The small entrance on the left of the photograph is the main entrance used by people entering the church from Manger Square.

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