Queenie Martens: It was a special Christmas

Memories of Christmas during Second World War in England; shepherds in the field

  • Dec. 23, 2011 12:00 p.m.

It was Christmas and it was wartime England.

We lived near the Thames Estuary, about 40 miles east of London, so we were used to constant air raids.  Convoys assembling in the estuary, port facilities and London itself were major targets.

Whether it was fact or just our imagination, I am not sure, but we always believed that there was an unofficial truce on the nights of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day  because we heard no sirens on those nights.

Our family had spent Christmas with friends. Feeling unafraid, we younger folk decided to go out for a walk on Christmas night. We walked down the country lane, which had trees and high hedges on both sides.   We stopped on our walk and looked up. It was a full moon and the stars hung in the sky, there was not a cloud to be seen.  What a peaceful scene and how beautiful. It is forever etched in my memory.  It was hard to realize we were in the midst of a war.

One could visualize the shepherds in the field watching their flocks of sheep on such a night, looking up into a starlit sky and listening to the voices of the angel choir.

Queenie Martens lives in the North Okanagan.