Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Recently discovered photo of Tom in Rome


Further to Ron's "Postscript to Day Leave in Rome"

8 Comments:

Blogger Tomcann said...

Ron - now that is funny - hardly felt like a saint though with ice cream melting at an increasing rate of knots - my friend Wee Wully Fenn from Glasgow is the same man who - during a long lecture in the main cinema in Bone(Annaba) in Algeria realised that he had forgotten to remove by consumption - one Cadbury's dairy milk bar which had now spread all over his KD uniform front - what a mess. We had to smuggle him back into camp,otherwise he might still be in the slammer !

Wednesday, 05 July, 2006  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

They have recalled several batches of Cadbury's chocolate bars in Britain a few days ago for fear of Salmonella poisoning (True!). I'll bet none of you ever had that to worry about during the war!

Would you have been hospitalised from a chocolate bar in 1945? Sometimes I wonder what progress has been made .........

Wednesday, 05 July, 2006  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Joseph -
no need to wonder anout how much progress has been made in the past 50 years - the plain truth is - "not much".....we never worried about such things as food poisoning - all we worried about was not to get Gastro Enteritis
from eating too much fruit straight off the trees... we have become more sanitised these days and at the same time have more infections flying around as we appear to have "sanitised" our immune system down the toilet - apparently Rats and Mice have stronger immune systems than we do as they are fighting dirt etc all day long !
The lads in the desert never had too many illnesses as they didn't bathe every day - shock - horror - unheard of to-day ! Same applies to many things - we are born in a sanitised hospital - attend the same hospital with monotonous frequency and finally die there.
Just 80 years ago we were born in the midst of a family - grew up with all sorts of self attended illnesses - died in the centre of our families - unsanitary but happier than we are to-day...lesson there I think ! Children to-day have little sense of "family" as we have driven it out of them - give them a fiver and let them entertain themselves - and so they fall vitim to the drug lords ! Progress ?

Thursday, 06 July, 2006  
Blogger Frank Mee said...

Joseph, I grew up with the saying a bit of muck never killed anyone. The local store had a mound of butter and cheese on one end of the counter from which was measured out the required amount which was patted up with wooden paddles and put on grease proof paper then into the basket. How often were those paddles washed.
At the other end of the counter would be the bags of potatoes and the parafin. The mix of goods both edible and in-edible was to be seen to be believed.
In my Desert years and other places abroad I was never ill from food poisoning yet you had to beat the flies from your plate to eat the food.
As Tom said on L of C we would be out of the depot for anything up to four weeks and the water ration was what we could carry in our vehicles or on tow behind. We never washed properly, washed our clothes in petrol and still we were never ill.
Watching Arab children play in open sewers I asked how they stayed healthy and was told if they lived past three they lived forever they became immune.
As a last word from our hill of age we have seen every fad and fashion in food and hygene and now it is coming full circle, eat healthy stay healthy.

Thursday, 06 July, 2006  
Blogger Peter G said...

That's an amazing photo! Er ... which one is Tom?

Thursday, 06 July, 2006  
Blogger Peter G said...

The house in which I lived throughout the war in Musadino had no internal water supply, like most houses in the village. We got our water from a public fountain, two buckets at a time.

In the mountains, like all lads, we learnt where all mountain streams were to be found. Fresh icy delicious water, I have yet to find or taste anything like it. We all knew where subterranean water and springs were, you cut a branch of wood, inserted it into the bank, then when the water flowed you withdrew the stick and carefully stripped the bark, cut the tube lengthwise in half and put it back in the hole and water, ice cool, flowed from it. My dad taught me how to do it; no one carried water with them. It was customary to leave the bark in place stopped with moss for the next person, who would replace it if required.

Then in April 1945 the South Africans arrived and seemed to declare the entire area's water undrinkable, resorting to boiling, disinfecting, and all sorts of games to the bemusement of everyone. If they ventured into the mountains they all carried khaki covered water bottles which became warm and tasted horrible, oblivious of the cool water around them.

I think it was a good few weeks before they calmed down and finally realised how excellent the water was. But somehow it never did taste the same.

Thursday, 06 July, 2006  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Joseph -
just thought I would dredge up an old tale on how we kept fit but not altogether sweet smelling at all times. This reinforces the idea that we could do more in saving water by not bathing too oftern - and still keep the bugs at bay......
Hot Showers and Clean Underwear, Occasionally by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Thursday, 06 July, 2006  
Blogger Frank Mee said...

Peter.
People do not realise how important water is to them until they get a hose pipe ban, joking.
I experienced water shortage in the desert and would leave spares off the truck to fill the space with jerycans of water.
Often there would be a box welded to the chassis with bottles of Stella Beer packed in straw. The trucks would be festooned with goat skins of water hanging off them, they cooled the water as we moved by condensation.
back at base every billet had a stone chatti which was filled with water in the evening and remained cool most of the day. We all drank from it though I never closely inspected what we drank, cool water was all that mattered.
We towed water trailers with us and made them last as desert water holes were so unclean it was impossible to purify it.
We did not wash much so if anywhere near the sea or the canal we just jumped in. The feeling of water wrapping round your body is something you take for granted until you have none to wash with.
We would manage enough for a shave and face wipe, under the arm pits was luxury.
Whilst waiting to cross back over the Canal at Kantara, lined up along the Canal it was too much we got out of the trucks peeled off and dropped into the Canal to hear whoops and shouts. On the other side was a bus full of I think WAAF's and as it was only a short distance across they got two eye's full.
Even today with my morning shower I spend more time than required just for the wonderful feeling of water running down your body.
They do not know how lucky they are to live in England with its plentiful water compared with others.

Monday, 10 July, 2006  

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