I am writing this from a cellar in this frontline German town which our battalion is holding. We have our company C.P. here (Command Post for you civilians). These German cellars are wonderful. Practically every house had one and they are not flimsy like we have in the States. The walls and ceilings are several feet thick and they save us a lot of digging. The house overhead is pretty well shot up, but it was a nice one at one time--3 stories and an attic. There are plenty of stoves around, also coal (briquets). So we rig up stoves in the cellars and carry beds and mattresses down, and live quite comfortably.
We had a nice Christmas dinner--turkey and trimmings. The kitchen upstairs is still intact and has a brand new range in it. For Christmas dinner, we had rummaged through the houses and found a clean tablecloth, dishes, and silverware. We just had everything on the table and were sitting down to eat at 3 p.m., when wham, Jerry shells started to land around the house. This irritated us no end, since there had hardly been one shell come in all day up to then. We said "to hell with them, they're not going to spoil our dinner." So we stayed upstairs and ate our Christmas dinner. Every 4 or 5 minutes a couple of shells would crash in the street or the yard. That's what you call having dinner under difficulties. They did not hit the house, but one hit the barn.
I got the fruit cake you sent. It was swell. Ernie says he sent me a couple of boxes of candy, but I haven't received either of them yet.
I was a little sick yesterday--upset stomach and a little fever, but I'm all right now. Several of the boys are having the same trouble. I think it's due to all the rich food we've been getting in Xmas boxes. When your stomach gets adjusted to K rations, it won't stand this luxurious food!
I mailed Ernie a German pistol and sent Earl a box with a few things I had picked up. One of the boys found a swell violin in one of the houses. My music teacher used to tell me how good German violins were, especially those made by Stainer! Imagine my delight when this one turned out to be a Stainer! I have a bow and 3 strings for it. One of the boys has a mandolin which he found, so we have our own orchestra. I was playing the fiddle this afternoon when three shells came in. So I'm beginning to think it draws fire! I guess those Krauts don't appreciate good music. Ha! ha!
The letter was received by Mrs. Sam Sirois, Sr., of Shelby, from her son, Lt. Sam Sirois, Jr., and was printed in the Lowell Tribune on Feb. 1, 1945. It is currently featured in the biography section on the Lowell Library web site.
Samuel Sirois, Jr. (died Jan. 19, 2000) was the son of Samuel, Sr. (1864-1945) and Hattie Sirois (1875-1955), who lived in Shelby all their married life. Sam, Sr., was born in Canada, came to the United States when a young man, and became a well-known businessman for 58 years at Shelby.
Samuel, Jr., was an attorney in Crown Point when he went into the Army, and after the war, he moved to Bloomington, where he continued his law career. The Ernie and Earl mentioned in his letter were his brothers, Ernest Sirois and Earl "Frenchy" Sirois.
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