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Letter: Charlotte, May 5 1945

My dear Arthur,

I have just received your letter written on the 27th of march. My husband, my daughter and myself have been so happy that we told the good news to all our friends.

I know by American service which is in Paris that you joined your unit in England, but I will not know where you are just now. As by war time we can be in fear of many things and I was anxious to know if it would possible for me to have news from you, one day…

But I am also anxious because you are in hospital. Are you ill, have you been wounded? You say nothing about that. Please answer me quickly and tell me what you have done since February 14th when you left France. Write in your own language. I write and I speak English badly but I read it well and I will understand your letters.

You ask me news from all your French friends.

(I am unclear on these names)

Here they are: Mademoiselle Bellcard, Zakie, Mimi and Pierre (Delude) are well. The Garric family of Moissac is in good health except Jacques. He enlisted in the French army and … on leave was shot through the leg on a shooting party. One wound was a bad one so he had his leg cut off. Now he is convalescent. Mr. Duping, from Bordeaux and Mrs. Chauvin (doctor Chauvin’s wife) were arrested by the Gestapo one year ago and deported in Germany. Nobody heard from them since. (first name of) Mrs. Gisele Chauvin and M. Barke(?) were arrested too, but both of them were able to run away.

As for us we have been obliged to run away also, because the boches (police)? were looking for us. After a busy or exciting journey we hid in Moissac where we waited for the liberation. We came back to Lesparre at the end of august 1944.

Lesparre was liberated but the police were not far away they occupied the entire Bas-Medoc peninsula and were only at 7 hours (kilometers?) from Lesparre. We often heard the guns and on the 2nd of April, Lesparre was bombarded by the German artillery. Several people were killed and wounded and many houses were demolished. A shell fell down very near our own house so all the … doors have been broken. At last on Saturday 21st of April, after a dreadful bombardment by the French artillery, the French navy and the American aviation, the French army attached the German and on Friday 27th of April the liberation of our country was done.

Now we are very quite and the police who are hear are friendly(?). They work everywhere at Lesparre and Christiane and Mimi are not the last to make fun of them and as they are very proud, they are quite furious and we are very pleased… Arthur, do you remember your departure from Bordeaux to Moissac, and when we were in the (something) with all the police around you? it was cold but you were very hot… and the crossing of demarcation line…? The control of the identify cards by the police captain? So you remember, Monsieur Georges Lambert (arthur’s fake name)… we speak very often of those things…

After you were gone, we took in charge away of your countrymen. Some days ago, an American (maper?) and an English lieutenant came to see and thank us. They gave us news from all of you, but I told them that the first one interacted us best than all the others and than we wished to have recent news from him. The first American was you, Arthur. You came in France during the German occupation and you understood what this occupation was. During four years we were affected and most of us … and killed. One day, aeroplanes fell down. In the aeroplanes there were men who were fighting for us and who were coming from free countries. You have been the first to bring us this breath of liberty which we missed for ever so long. That is why we keep so good a remembrance from you and too your short stay among us. That is the reason why were are most something by you than by any other.

We still have the thins you left us: your ring, your bracelet, your … , knife, keys.. am I to send them back to you or wait your visit to give them back to you? for we hope see you again in France one day. All your friends would be happy to see you paying a visit to them. We have a house to receive you now..

It is very good of you to ask us if we want food or something else. I thank you very much of what it is for us, we do not want anything, we have .. and farmers which gave us our food. We only wish (something) produces and ….tea, coffee, chocolate.. first of all chocolate! But all those things, well finished by reach us!

I send you the photos I have at hand. They were done during German occupation – and it was forbidden. I will send you some more in my next letters. May I ask you to send us some photos of yourself?( in uniform if possible) and some of your family. It would be great pleasure for us.

My English language is not very good . excuse me.

All your friends from Lesparre send you “… “ (love and thoughts)?

You will say our kindest regards to your mother father and young brother.

From us three, our best remembrance, so long Arthur

Charlotte Michel – Lesparre – May 5th 1945 – rue du Palais de justice