Friday 27 December 2019

Mistletoe but No Girls

CAPE ARGUS - 1939, December 19
With the masses of mistletoe in the trees where they are bivouacking 
there is not a single girl in the active battle area 
to enable it to be put to the traditional use.
Nevertheless, all the bivouacs, even the outposts, from where the Germans are visible, are now decorated with mistletoe, and the ancient cry, “Kiss me, sergeant.” is heard once more in the land.
Those on outpost duty over Christmas are taking the precaution of having turkey and plum pudding beforehand, and several feasts have already taken place. Yesterday a regiment with marching orders said goodbye to the turkey, geese and chicken they had been fattening, and a wonderful spread, enlivened by French wines, was had for all.
Now the men do not mind if they have to fall back on hard tack if they happen to be on outpost duty on Christmas Day. While British and French forward posts continue the game of hide and seek with German patrols in no-man’s-land, in the Maginot fortresses the French garrisons will also celebrate Christmas.
Small Christmas trees spread their decorative branches in all Maginot messes, and the presents of varying quality they carry will be diced for on Christmas Eve by men not on duty. Afterward there will be midnight mass in an underground chapel.

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