Glace Bay, Nova Scotia

Klomp, Klomp with every step!

Lewis G. Billard was born in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia in 1923.  He joined the R.C.A.F. in 1943 and worked on the Rolls-Royce Merlin engines in Lancaster bombers in England and in Mosquito Nightfighters in Europe.  After the war Billard returned to Nova Scotia, studied science at Kings/Dalhousie, and after graduation taught science and math until his
retirement in 1988. To:  Effie Belle Billard [Mother] From:  Lewis. Date:  June 17, 1945, Twente, Holland. June 17, 1945.    Dear Mom, This is the second part of the letter. I'll be waiting to receive the snaps of Aunt Edythe's baby. I've been to Enschede again and visited the Park, which is very nice. Many of the lawns have vegetables growing in them, since food is not that plentiful here in Holland. Everywhere you go there are little children, all cleanly dressed. I bought a little pair of Klompen in town. A Klomp is a shoe, and two are Klompen. And that's just what they do: Klomp, Klomp with every step!
They're the real thing- for a two year old child, and very cute. They are painted with the Dutch Flag and with the Royal colour of orange, as well as the words Enschede and Holland, so they have been decorated as souveniers. While I was in town I met a young fellow and he invited me to his home, and now we have become good friends. His family name is Niezink, and he lives at 101 Steenwegstraat. The family is made up of the mother, father, two sons, one 14 and the other 16 and a little girl, who is about 3 years
old. I've given them gum and chocolates, and also some of the hot chocolate that you had sent to me in a parcel, as well as some cigarettes. They hardly know how to thank me. They seemed to think that they had to pay for everything, so I had quite a job to convince them that they were all gifts. But I suppose that you can expect that, for under the Nazis,
giving was not in their rotten blood. Maybe if I'm here in Holland long enough I'll get to know them well.

Courtesy of ‘The canadian letters and images project’ Malaspina University College
– Dr Stephen Davies.

photo: July 18th
on board of the MV Joseph and Clara Smallwood
on the way to St. John´s, Newfoundland NL