Grimsby Boy in London Fog "Went South for Winter" Landed up in North Africa
Grimsby Independent, 4 Mar 1943, p. 1
Media Type
Item Type
Letter from North Africa
Date of Publication
4 Mar 1943
Date Of Event
6 Feb 1943
Personal Name(s)
Swayze, Bruce
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.20011 Longitude: -79.56631
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Full Text

Corp. Bruce Swayze, with American Forces, writes interestingly of his army experiences - thinks Africa is beautiful country - with engineers - has no use for ship's hammocks, prefers a Caistor feather tick - get tired of walking try hands and knees.

Wherever in this world of turmoil today there is a fighting force, you will find a Grimsby boy. Last week The Independent received a letter from Corp. Bruce Swayze, Somewhere on the African Front. He is the third son of Andrew and Sarah Swayze, Robinson Street North and is serving with Company "B" 817th Engineers, United States Army.

Previous to enlisting Bruce had been connected with a large construction firm in Albany, N.Y. as a plumbing and heating engineer. Here is the letter:

A camp in North Africa, Feb. 6, 1943. Hello "Bones"! Well! I will take the pen out of the dry dock, run it down the ink well and give you the low down on yours truly in the Service. I wanted to write to you before and not being in your class for throwing the full (the word I wanted to use the censors would cut out) so I had to wait and save up the good material. Next I don't like writing to foreigners (you darn Canuck). First stop was the Induction Centre. Between the shoes and vaccine I put on 5 pounds and my shoes are only eights. I hear the same shots, "Hypos", are good for "hoof and mouth disease". Then you have on all the clothes you own and start out on a hike, no place in particular. After you get tired of walking then try your hands and knees to toughen you up.

My next stop was England, but before getting there many a soldier had an "upside down stomach". Ed. Hand will never have to loan me one of his punts to cross the harbour, "I will walk around." Hammocks are O.K. in a magazine for sleeping, but give me a Caistor feather tick.

While in England we drove on the left side of the road and I was never right. London is a beautiful city but Grimsby would look better to me right now. The fall weather was coming on, so I went south for the winter months and ended up in North Africa.

This is a wonderful country and whoever wrote all those wild stories about Africa must have stopped into the liquor store first for some fire water. The sunrise here is beautiful and the only time I saw it back home was when I got up early to see what the neighbours had that I didn't. "Some people call it share the wealth."

The season now is the same as the Florida winter months, so I am told by a "buddy" who was never in Florida. This is the first time since the good old school days that I was ever tanned in January. The stores are very different. A drug store has no hardware counter and you have to go in a restaurant for a meal. The G.G. food is better than in town. I guess the army has spoiled me at meal time. Fresh water is a big problem. Where I am stationed we go to town in trucks and pick it up in 5 gallon cans from a hose like a gasoline station back home...

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Grimsby Boy in London Fog "Went South for Winter" Landed up in North Africa