As a start to Eres Books’s effort to give American Veterans an opportunity to tell their own stories, one of our authors has given us permission to publish her mother’s memoir of her life during the Second World War. Below is an introduction and an excerpt from Following the Troops: Life for an Army Wife 1941-1945.
My mother loved to tell stories about her life and I loved to listen. When I grew up and had an opportunity to publish her World War II adventures, I asked her to write these stories for a collection I was working on for Honno, the Welsh Women’s Press, Parachutes & Petticoats.
My parents had five children at the start of World War II. My father was in the Maine National Guard. Their story begins in December, 1941.
The Start of War (Excerpt)
The National Guard was activated after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Tom’s division, the 43rd, was to be stationed at Camp Blanding just outside of St. Augustine, Florida.
On the way down, Tom made out a training plan for the troops when they arrived at Camp. He was the only junior officer to have done this. He earned his First Lieutenant bars and was sent to Fort Benning for further schooling.
Tom wrote that he wanted us to come down to be near him. So on April 18th, we set out for Florida. The night before we had a bad snowstorm. We were already to go, so we started off anyway.
Virginia May Verge Verrill lived for another 60 years, raising two more children—I was one of them. Captain Thomas Anthony Verrill, U.S.Army, lived until 1964. He was so proud of his service to his country that he asked to be buried in his uniform.
— Leigh Verrill-Rhys
Following the Troops: Life for an Army Wife 1941-1945 is available from Eres Books for $0.99.