A Jubilant Time
A Melting Pot of Foreign Troops
"It was a jubilant time. I think a friend and I, we even went up to the West End with all the crowds, you know. Of course the thing that’s so, left me with deep impressions, were all the foreign troops in London, in England, during the wartime. You know there were—What, there’s a million and a quarter GIs, American GIs, prior to the invasion of Normandy. But we had thousands of troops from Canada, and New Zealand, South Africa, Australia. Of course I was always impressed with all these uniforms. And I think seeing all these foreign soldiers is what first jingled my imagination about foreign countries.
And many of them had very distinct hats. You know the Australian hat. The GIs, the American said we had lots of American sailors in England. Many kids tried to collect the badges. You know, the cap badges that the military have. I became a badge collector along with hundreds of other kids."