War Oddities

War Oddities

Two Dollars will be paid for each War Oddity accepted and published in this column. Address contributions to War Oddities, Maclean’s Magazine 481 University Ave., Toronto. Source of the information must be given.

February 1 1941
War Oddities

War Oddities

Two Dollars will be paid for each War Oddity accepted and published in this column. Address contributions to War Oddities, Maclean’s Magazine 481 University Ave., Toronto. Source of the information must be given.

February 1 1941

War Oddities

Two Dollars will be paid for each War Oddity accepted and published in this column. Address contributions to War Oddities, Maclean’s Magazine 481 University Ave., Toronto. Source of the information must be given.

An Englishwoman who owned an old car enclosed a snapshot of it in a letter to her sister in France. The letter was returned to her. marked “Opened by Censor,” with the following comment: “Since the object in this photograph resembles very closely the new A. A. gun, this enclosure cannot be forwarded to addressee.”

A nine-weeks-old baby, blown from a bombed hospital, was found uninjured on a plank floating in a pool from a burst hot-water tank.

Newspaper vendors who chalk up the latest score of Nazi planes brought down have coined a new word for their game— Blitzcricket.

A London hostess who issued an invitation to a captain of Allied troops, requesting “the pleasure of his company,” was surprised but not disconcerted when he appeared with his company of 150 men. Friends helped her serve luncheon to all of them.

It was a regular “stripper.” that bomb that tumbled in front of a young lady and her male companion standing near a London hotel. When the girl regained her feet she found herself dressed only in stockings and bloomers. Someone came to the rescue with a trenchcoat.

All kinds of people are helping to revive the centuries-old pastime and art of tapestry stitching while waiting in air raid shelters. Lady Smith-Dorrien. principal of the Royal School of Needlework, “which is remaining in London despite the war,” says “there has been a great revival” of the work which dates back to medieval days when the women used to pass the hours awaiting the return of their men from battle.

Decreeing that “we don’t need mementoes to remind us of Britain’s glorious past,” the town council of Falmouth ordered the guns of the frigatt Bellerophon, on which Napoleon surrendered after Waterloo, melted for military scrap iron. The Bellerophon, launched in 1736, escorted Ixrrd Nelson’s body home after Trafalgar, where he was wounded fatally.

Being a private detective now in Ixmdon is no picnic and many “fiannelfeet” are closing shop. There’s plenty of work but tracing people is impossible. If they ask too many questions, they are suspected of being Fifth Columnists.

The observer on a Wellington bomber was presented with a box of jumbled mosaic blocks. While en route to Berlin he worked on it, spilling the tiny blocks whenever the plane struck an air pocket. Nearing Berlin, he got it together. It turned out to be a picture of Hitler, so he threw it overboard.

One hears about the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy, but never about the Royal Army. There isn’t any. In 1689 William and Mary ascended the throne on condition, among other things, that they were not to raise or maintain a standing army; and to this day it is illegal for a British sovereign to have a “Royal” army.

The Cintra airport at Lisbon is used by both the British commercial air line from London and the Italian line from Rome. The British and Italian pilots are studiously polite to each other.

Letter from Ilford, Essex: Our town gunner brought down a plane and his mates hung the shell—what was left of it—over their hangar gate. Within a few minutes it was filled with cigarettes, chocolate bars, eats, etc.

The Research Bureau of the Ministry of Aircraft Production in England receives more than 3,000 ideas weekly, most of them indicating more imagination than practicality. The incendiary leaf, however, was not merely imaginative.

Because of the spread of war to the Mediterranean areas, mail from the Near East must now take a rather circuitous route to reach England. A letter recently received by a London firm from Palestine travelled nearly around the world before it reached its destination. It went by way of Singapore, California, New York and Lisbon.

Letter from ambulance driver in England : I carried two cases—one a chap with a broken jaw, punctured lungs and broken ribs; the other a case of acute appendicitis. I had to drive slowly on account of the first case, fast on account of the second. Try it some time.

An example of how Britain is keeping up her export trade is furnished by the arrival at Lisbon, Portugal, of 40,000 tons of Welsh coal from Cardiff. The coal was carried in fifteen ships under convoy.

The British community in Argentina has contributed the cost of a flight of Spitfires. These are to be named Pampero No. 1. Pampero No. 2 and Pampero No. 3. The pam¡x:ro is a squall which blows across the Argentina pampas or plains accompanied by thunder and lightning. The donors hope the planes will give Germany just this kind of weather.

A shelter costing ten shillings (about $2.20) saved seven lives when a high explosive bomb fell three feet away. The shelter, which still stands, although it received the full blast of the explosion, consisted of a hole in the ground lined with wooden planks and covered by a corrugated iron roof.