The Lens 1944 Christmas Number

MNealeETH1395951-150731-060.pdf

Title

The Lens 1944 Christmas Number

Description

A magazine produced in Italy for RAF personnel. It contains messages, stories, quizzes and cartoons.

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

1944-12-25

Contributor

Angela Gaffney

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Format

39 page magazine

Language

Identifier

MNealeETH1395951-150731-060

Coverage

Spatial Coverage

Transcription

[sketch]
The LENS
1944
Christmas Number

[page break]

The LENS
Editorial Staff
[photograph]
EDITOR – SGT. F.A. HOWARD (336)
Bank clerk in civilian life. First experience of journalism. Comes from Hove, Sussex.

[photograph]
ART EDITOR – LAC P.F. WILSON (683)
Commercial artist, living at North Harrow, Middlesex.

[photograph]
SPORTS EDITOR
LAC EASOM (336).
Has played in several junior football teams including Tottenham. Lives at Edmonton.

[photograph]
SHOW CRITIC
LAC S. WARBURTON (683)
Repertory Actor in peace time. Home town Rhos-on-Sea. N. Wales.

[photograph]
SPORTS EDITOR
LAC SHUTTLEWORTH (336)
Played in 'Daily Dispatch' Challenge Shield winning team 1936. Comes from Huddersfield.

[page break]

[picture]
Christmas Greetings
A HAPPY CHRISTMAS to all our readers and may the New Year see their dearest wishes come true.
The Editorial Staff wish to thank the 941st Engr. Bn. whose kind co-operation has enabled us to produce this special Christmas Number, which we believe many of our readers may wish to keep as a souvenir.
Christmas is especially a time of family reunion. A time when sitting back before a log fire with our family and children gathered about, we recall old scenes, old faces. Perhaps bringing out this old copy of the "Lens", we may recall these days spent in Italy, the good friends we made, the work we did, the lives we led.
May we then see as the reality those thoughts of the future which we now dream and for which we now strive.
THE EDITOR
Italy
1944

[page break]

[sketch]

[page break]

A Strange Land

The Padre's Christmas Message

[sketch]

They were all looking for a King
To slay their foes and lift them high:
Thou cam'st, a little baby thing
That made a woman cry.

O son of man, to right my lot
Naught but Thy presence can avail;
Yet on the road Thy wheels are not,
Nor on the sea Thy sail.

My how or when, thou wilt not heed,
But come down Thine own secret stair,
That Thou mayst answer all my need -
Yea, every bygone prayer.
George Macdonald 1824 – 1905

It approaches midnight and under a moonlit and starry sky we make our way towards the lonely farmhouse on the moors. This will be the first of many calls we shall make before the dawn. For it is Xmas Eve – we are happy to be carolling again and we are sure of a warm welcome everywhere.
As we near the farm, there comes faintly stealing upon the frosty air, the sound of bells. From the tower of the village church in the valley far below the ringers are once again pealing out the age old theme, "Glory to God in the Highest: on Earth, Peace among men of goodwill." To me, no richer sound than that of pealing bells could fall upon the ears of men; no nobler message than that which Xmas brings could gladden their hearts. When in the heart of the English countryside on Xmas Eve they are experienced in unison, then the heart is lifted to nobler things and man approaches nearer the divine. In such moments life seems full and free. But this pen sketch is only a dream.
Xmas Eve finds us far from the familiar faces and homely hearths we knew. We are in a strange land where not even the sound of bells can charm. The song of the angels mingles strangely with the noise of the drums of war. Angry passions have choked goodwill. Two thirds of the world engages in bloody warfare; the other third sits back watching and raking in the profits. There is no peace in the hearts of men. From almost every lip rises the question -How and when shall peace return? It can only return when men realise the inner meaning of the season. The meaning which lies behind the phrase "A little child shall lead them."
Above all else Xmas speaks to us of Divine greatness. A greatness which is shown in its deep humility. God came down to men not amidst the trappings of regal splendour; not in pomp and power; he came a little babe, a lodger in a stable. As St. Paul puts it:- "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men." Divine Humility: Where then does [underlined] our [/underlined] pride enter in?

[page break]

Young Herbert Perkins
L.A.C

[sketch]

Young Herbert Perkins, L.A.C.,
Was waiting for his money – see
So there he's standing in the queue
Collecting pay that's overdue.
His dreams were wakened with a shout
"Hi ! Perkins there ! Wake up you lout !
Step smartly forward to the table
And get your pay while you are able."
Bertie woke up with a jump
And went to lift his little lump.
He snatched his wad and marched away
And never stopped to count his pay (Silly thing!)
When back in billets he essayed
To see if he's been rightly paid:
He found out with a sudden fright
That he was twenty lire light.
So back to gain his little pittance
He opened door and gained admittance.

Accounting bloke was sitting there
Swilling down a glass of beer
"Hey, I'm twenty lire short"
Said Bertie with disgruntled snort:
Accountant just said "Sorry, Bertie,
I'm not trying to do you dirty
But if when standing at the table
To count your pay you are not able
I fear that you have had it, chum! "

Ay! Bert was hurt! He went out dumb,
And sat down straight to write a letter
Home to his dad – He thought he'd better.
His letter just said "Daddy, dear,
The Air Force owes me twenty lire."
When Dad heard this he took on bad
To think his son his lire had had;
He got in touch with his M.P.
(Whose age was such he could not see)
To ask him if he could arrange
To get son's twenty lire change.

[sketch]

[page break]

[sketch]

So at old Perkins' Dad's suggestion
M.P. got up to ask a question:
"I wish to ask Air Minister
What monkey business is astir
When Bertie Perkins, L.A.C.,
Can't get his money due to he,
For he is short of twenty lire."
Minister said "I'm not quite clear
What twenty lire will buy in beer
But I am given to surmise
From the K.R's and A.C.I's
That an airman is not able
To go back to accountant's table."
It looked like Bert had had his duff
But daily papers like this stuff
And splashed across the front page news
"Air Ministry have no clues.
Airman's pay held back we think
For blokes up top to get a drink."

By means of their large circulation
The news was spread throughout the nation
And crowds collected shouting "Boo!"
In Westminster – at Palace too.
The King just spoke unto the crowd
And said "For crying out aloud
You must all go back to work
For I myself will pay the erk."
So King drove down to landing ground
And spoke to aircrew standing round
"Please to fly me if you can
To an airfield name of San
Severo in the land of Italy,
Where the girls all sing so prettily."

[sketch]

[sketch]

They flew that night and all next day
They couldn't come the shortest way
Until at last the fog revealed
San Severo landing field.
For right to land they made a call
Which answered was by Yankee drawl
"Who the hell's that wants to land?"
Reply came "King of England."
"I'm mighty glad to meet you, King
Just tell the skipper land the thing."
When from the plane the King stepped out
All Wing was gathered round about
Except for Perkins, wretched beast
was posted to the distant East.
The Air Council had won the day
And saved their twenty lire pay.
The moral of this little fable
Is count your pay when at the table.

[page break]

WAR HUMOUR

[sketch]
SOMETHING DETAIN YOU JOE – !"

Jokes sent in by readers..

AC 1 BASNETT (336 Wing)
Cpl. WILLIAMS (682 Squadron)

[sketch]
"TWO MORE GLUGS AND A PLUT, JOE!"

[page break]

Puzzle Page

[underlined] QUIZ [/underlined]

1. Are lions found in Asia?
2. Which musical play had the longest run in London?
3. Which are the largest and smallest counties in England?
4. What is the official definition of a sortie?
5. What is the equinox?
6. Which Army regiment wears two cap badges, one back and one front, and why?
7. At what form of literature have women excelled men?
8. Who was Socrates?
9. Which is farthest South; New York, Nice or Kiev?
10. How did the expression 'pin money' come into existence?
11. Who sailed in the Mayflower?
12. What famous picture was stolen from its frame?
13. Who was the greatest Channel swimmer?
14. What statesman obtained the Suez Canal for Britain?
15. Who wrote the "Messiah"?
16. What is the highest mountain in the world?
17. How did the expression 'minding one's P's and Q's originate?
18. Who wrote "The Citadel"?
19. What is the highest price ever paid for transferring a football player in Britain, and for whom?
20. Who were the first discovers [sic] of the North and South Poles.

Mother Carey's Choice
Adam's Inn
Aaron's Coat & Badge
Hobson's Chickens
Lincoln's Rod
Doggett's Apple

Yeomen of Khartoum
Barber of Athens
Puck of Calais
Burghers of Seville
Timon of England
Kitchener of Aragon
Catherine of Pook's Hill.

Can you correct our typist's mistakes?

[sketch]

SOLVE THIS ...

Start at any point. Run a line over each square and rectangle without lifting the pencil, without crossing any line twice, without crossing your own line.


[underlined] What is [/underlined] ?

1. What is a DUTCH AUCTION?
2. What is the Flying Dutchman?
3. What is DUTCH COMFORT?
4. What is DUTCH COURAGE?

Thoughts ..

My thoughts have been wandering. What was the connecting link – One word only – which led to the final thought.

1. From CEMENT -------- to PRISON
2. From CLIFTON -------- to CULBERTSON
3. From DAFFODILS ----- to WESTMINSTER BRIDGE
4. From COWS ------------ to PULLOVER

[page break]

[underlined] SHORT STORY [/underlined]

"LANDMARK"
by R.L. Wetherhead.

Tan Yarga was returning to his native land. Already he could see the last landmark as he crept through the tall, straight 'stalky' plants with which this planet abounded. Beyond the landmark he could see the heat haze rising from the hard black pock-marked plain, which had been made by the Giant people. Tan had often wondered about that landmark; there were actually many more of them in this part of the country but they were always moving, whereas his landmark had always stood in the same place. Occasionally some Giant people had come to the "landmark", but it had remained silent, and was silent still as Tan Yarga came near to it. Tan's grandfather remembered the coming of the Giant People and many a tale he told of how one day they had come down out of the sky in screaming, roaring monsters which spouted fire. He had told of how the Giant People had made the huge black plain with the help of huge earth eating animals. All this was before Tan had been born, but ever since he had lost himself as a child and had been found by a neighbour and taken home, the "landmark" had stood there dark and silent. It had been the blue beauty of it that had lured him on, but when he had reached it, it had looked dark and forbidding and he had been frightened.
Now he stood beneath the monster and rested. It was late and Tan was tired. It was still half a day's journey to his home and there were yet many hazards to be encountered. The Green People with long tails would try – had tried – to catch him and he tried not to think of what they did to Brown People. Tan was very tired, more tired than he had realised at first, and on the instant he decided to stop the night in the shade of the monster, or better still inside it, where he would be out of danger from the Green Long-tails.
Finding a way into the monster was not easy, but after a little while Tan found himself in a long vaulted chamber, divided by many low walls in which there were circular doors. As he wandered along the hard slippery floor he wondered at the many things he saw, until at last he came into a small room with no more doors, and it was here he decided to stay. With his usual thoroughness he quickly made himself a mattress of grasses and twigs and settled down for the night.
Tan Yarga slept. Suddenly he woke with fear in his heart and a roaring in his ears : the room was vibrating terribly so that he could hardly think – but through the noise and vibration Tan knew that his end was near. The monster was moving and through cracks in the floor Tan could see the black plain slipping past ever faster and faster, as louder and louder roared the monster.

[page break]

Even as he felt he could stand it no longer, Tan felt the vibration and noise die down to a steady purr. But his spark of hope was doomed as another sound beat upon his eardrums. A horrible, screaming, grinding noise, telling of immense, unlimited power – and then he saw his doom. The huge beam under which he had crawled for safety was falling. He screamed and put up his arms to stop the fall – It continued relentlessly -
"Hey, Joe! come and look at this!" Heavens, it's a nest, a mouse's nest. Is he still in there?"
"Yes, he's dead. The tailwheel jack must have squashed him.............."

"Haunted ..."

[sketch]

Last night as I went up the stair
I met a man who wasn't there:
He wasn't there again to-day,
I wish to hell he'd go away.

Up the stair and thro' the hall
I hear the voice that does not call,
I lie awake in fear and dread
Am I alive or am I dead.

At lunch I had a double gin
And then I met a Ghost, his twin.
He stared at me in grief and pain
I hope he don't appear again.

The two of them, they are not there,
And yet I saw them – that I swear.
They haunt me, curse me, plague my life,
Chase after me with blood-stained knife.

Could it be that perhaps the whisky
Has turned my brain and made it frisky?
I'll track those ghosts unto their lair,
Cursed be to those who are not there.

[sketch]

XMAS MORNING 1940. Cold and frosty – bells pealing out joyously – excitement everywhere. Then came your whisper. Your face flushed with such wonderful news. Our first-born was heralded. We needed no manger – we had found room for it in our hearts.
L/A/C R.J. CHURCH

[page break]

[sketch]
F.A. Howard

Radio Newsreel visits [underlined] SAN SEVERO [/underlined]

" It's a beautiful morning. From where we are standing we can see the whole length of the street. The balconies draped with scarlet and gold are full of dainty women with parasols. It looks as though the street has been specially swept for the occasion. Not for many years has there been such a scene of animation here. "
" Time's getting short now. 11.27. Only three minutes to go. There seems to be a hush in the air. A feeling of expectancy. "
" 11.30. Should be coming now. Ah, here it comes ! Yes, Yes. It's getting nearer. I can't quite see it yet. It is! It is! It's a goose. Yes, it's a goose."
"Square 4."
"The children are chasing it. Pass! Pass! Oh, he's eluded them. He's coming up the street, up the street, making straight for goal. Grandma's in goal. Playing a great game. "
"Square 1."
"Oh, bad luck! Grandma took a sweep with a carving knife, missing by inches. A very close thing that"
"Yes. Yes. Grandma's certainly in great form. She's wearing a red beret and striped jersey, looking every inch a champion."
"He's off again. Coming this way. Time's getting short now."
"Square 2."
"He's dodged five children. Making straight for goal. Oh, Lovely!, Lovely! He's beaten Grandma and flown right through to the corner of the cellar. A beautiful corner!! "
"A very fine game. Everybody is cheering wildly. The goose is caught. Grandma's content and the Sergeants will have goose for their Christmas dinner after all."

[sketch]

[photographs]

[page break]

Smile Please!

[sketch]
"YOU SHOULD TAKE VITAMINS – LIKE I DO !"

Peter Wilson

[sketch]
"HAVE YOU GOT A PING – PONG TABLE IN LOUIS THE FOURTEENTH?"

[page break]

[sketch]

Through the [underlined] Stereoscope [/underlined]

[sketch]

[underlined] JUNE [/underlined] Service routine is now clothed with holiday atmosphere. Never were there so many anxious to attend the shooting practices combined with sun and sea bathing at the coast..........The 48 hr. leaves at Rodi are also very popular which is more than one can say about the flies, whose size and fierceness beggar description.
A reader sends this recipe for ridding beds of fleas. "Sprinkle the bed with gravel and alcohol. The fleas become drunk and then kill each other throwing rocks about..........A bunch of thistles lying outside Wing Orderly Room caused some speculation. Who could deserve such a bouquet?....................................
[underlined] JULY [/underlined] THE HEAT IS ON. Met. tell us that the maximum shade temperature for the week was 98 deg.F. Iced lager is now being served at the "Ace of Spades" Kingston-by-Pass (Take Green Line from Victoria).............................. What with chlorinated water, mepacrines and numerous innoculations [sic], we advise our readers to see the visiting chiropodist about that ingrowing toe-nail.................. Our roving reporter tells us that tea may be obtained at Himmler's Cafe, Gestapo HQ. at any hour. Fresh brews frequently. (How do they do it?) ................................. The wood runs are developing into day excursions to the coast for swimming. Very nice too -......................... Was it the gremlins who ate a certain F/Sgts. sardine sandwiches while he was "stoning the crows" (If ever a man suffered) ...............................

[sketch]

[sketch]

[underlined] AUGUST [/underlined] Various towns are named as the destination of the Wing in the event of a possible move. The best local opinion is agreed that we are undoubtedly bound for SAN MANGIAREJO .................................. Road sign on way to Naples: "SLOW MEN AT WORK". We know, we've watched them .........................................

[page break]

Our 'LENS' diary . .

[underlined] SEPTEMBER [/underlined] According to a NAAFI spokesman, NAAFI profit of £3,712,000 for last year was inevitable. As inevitable as a NAAFI queue we suppose ......... Many of our armchair strategists marking the battle fronts on wall maps are liberating towns long before the approaching armies arrive. We suggest everybody starts level again from a master map .......... The Wing Commander driving his "Bluebird" broke all records for the Napoli – San Severo run the other evening. His time was 2 hrs. 45 mins. It is believed he was in a hurry to see the latest "LENS"
[underlined] OCTOBER [/underlined] Enquiry of the B.M.A. reveals that contrary to General Impression and Duff Gen, rifles are not the best places for growing that valuable fungus, penicillin.
After the 336 Airmen's party, the officers also had their 'breaking-up' party during the week. The carpenter looks like being busy for a number of weeks to come.....

[sketch]

[sketch]

A notice in TOC H library points out that they have lost 100 books. The Americans do things on a bigger scale. Special Service library claim to have lost 1000 books.... The arrival of our newest recruit SHORTY has mean promotion for ADRIAN. The result is however still NEGATIVE ........ Classes in Spanish, classes in Russian, classes in French, classes in German. But what we want is to be able to read those Yugo-slav sub-titles at ENSA........................

[underlined] NOVEMBER [/underlined] The Padre's efforts at the recent double wedding were rewarded by a black eye. This was suffered in the normal course of duty, however, when an excited crowd forced open the door with the Padre behind it.....................
The recent blood grouping parade was organised on mass production lines, the average flow being some sixteen per minute.......One blood donor wanted his blood back when he discovered too late that he belonged to an unwanted group..
We hear that postings home are well ahead of schedule. A reliable correspondent points out that Christmas Day will still be on the 25th, nevertheless............

[sketch]

[underlined] DECEMBER [/underlined] Water was seen dripping from the taps in 683 airmen's billets recently. This effectually disposes of all rumours that the San Severo Water Co had cut off the supply because of arrears of payment......... The "lost phase" business in town is becoming a menace. Humphrey Bogart is still awaiting his "Passage to Marseilles", 683 airmen are still awaiting their nightly "jive-session" over the hard worked radio and many unshaven chins are awaiting the clipper. The "phase" must be found.............

[page break]

"Christmas Nostalgia"

[sketch]

Strange indeed were the experiences that befell me, when for several years in succession I passed Christmas in a smoky rain-bound island off the Western shores of Europe. In spite of thrilling years in the sunny, happy mediterranean clime those remarkable ceremonies of the pre-1939 epoch yet stand vivid in my mind. Long before the critical day the inmates of the island accumulated hoards of toxic beverages and highly flavoured comestibles. Months in advance the prudent housewife was purchasing sultanas, dates, figs and those other exotic fruits, which, laced with brandy and spiced with morsels of scrap metal, such as old rings and thimbles, endowed the seasonable dish with the title of "plum" pudding. By every post one received curious drawings of antiquated horse-drawn carriages, of dilapidated hovels propped on sooty beams, of ducks swooping upon the signature of Peter Scott, of men in red coats wading in a black and white flux of dogs, of landscapes smothered in snow, and a myriad such unintelligible emblems. Tinsel ornaments and crudely coloured ribbons obscured the contents of shop windows. Men staggered beneath piles of ill-shaped parcels; women were hauled along, as if to the Gestapo, by cavorting brats. The residential quarters suffered siege from blackmailing gangs of unmusical urchins, whose battle cry seemed to be: "Gooking went his lass"; they varied this with irrational references to a night while shepherds washed. A strange emotion filled the air; even those whom one might have hoped to find still sane distorted their lips constantly in meaningless smiles.
At last the day itself arrived, hideous with shouts of revelry and snapping crackers, raucous from pealing bells and groans of indigestion. Bloated with food one staggered through a haze of smoke and alcohol, skidding on orange peel, tripped up by walnut shells. Over everything spread a fathomless chaos of useless trinkets, inexplicable illustrations, brown paper and string. Dyspeptic relations beset us with hysterical jocularity. Drunken roisterers chanted tunelessly in our ears. Elderly gentlemen in false beards and paper hats, vomiting infants writhing at their feet, barred our every step. Futile females, clothed with spendthrift and voluptious [sic] elaboration, giggled as they dragged us beneath the pagan mistletoe; they smeared our lips with the degrading preparations of Leichner and Max Factor; they allured us to the inanities of secluded corners. Amid their clinging endearments we reeled deviously to bed. Then came the dawn. The last remaining aspirins were plunged deep beneath an obtrusive stack of newly-delivered bills. One was expected to PAY for all this.
I can't think why I'm so homesick at Christmas overseas.

[sketch]

[page break]

"The [underlined] HOUSE OF TERROR" [/underlined]
(OR, THE GAS MAN'S REVENGE)
Eric Eastham
Through a veil of driven rain, the gloomy pile of Tweedsmuir Towers, reared its ruined battlements to the night sky. Lashed by wind and occasionally thrown into vivid relief by a flash of lightning, the ancient castle seemed surrounded by an atmosphere of dread, and indeed the company which was, at that very moment, gathered round a table in the Great Hall, was enough to scare the wits out of a commando.
Three skeletons, a Headless Horror, a Phantom Highwayman and a werewolf with glowing eyes and slavering jaws, all sat watching a smooth looking ghost in a tuxedo who sat at the head of the table. This was Last Chance Louie, a gangster who had been famous in his day, but who had been rubbed out by the boys and was now full of bullet holes. "All the fives – fifty five" croaked Louie (They were playing housey-housey). "Give them a shake-up, why dontcha" grumbled the largest skeleton, aiming a kick at the werewolf, who was chewing his right ankle bone.
Just then there was a rushing noise, audible above the note of the wind, and with a terrific swish, something shot over the roof, sucking off a loose slate as it passed. "What's that – a bomb?" asked an elderly and nervous spook, who had just floated silently in. "No, it's that dizzy guy, Dracula" said Louie. "He always does a shoot-up when he comes in to land. One of these days he will hit a chimney."

[sketch]

At that moment a dark, bat-like shape swooped out of the night, making a bumpy landing beside the table. It was Dracula; his white vampire face surrounded by a greenish glow; his two long fangs glistening sharp, white and menacing. "What's cooking, Drac?" croaked Louie "Yer look kinda nervous." Folding his bat wings, the vampire passed a trembling hand over his brow. "This ruddy war" he snarled "it's not safe even for me to fly in the night sky any more. I got caught in those accursed searchlights and the ack-ack opened up on me. I must have blood or perish." The werewolf howled in sympathy. "Aw, go take a Bob Martins" muttered Louie, who didn't go much on werewolves.

[sketch]

"Kelly's Eye. Number One" he continued.
"House" shouted the smallest skeleton, beating its long bony hands with joy.
Music floated out from the radio. "Harry James" commented Dracula, removing his mae west. "Just fancy being married to Betty Grable. I bet she's ----- " "Quiet" said the elderly spectre, who was very narrow minded.
From the shadowy depths of the castle, a rhythmic clanking was heard, accompanied by squeaks. It grew louder. "Frankenstein" murmured the Headless Horror, who was polishing away at a bit of Perspex. "Sounds like he needs oiling again."
OVER

[page break]

[sketch]

The clanking suddenly stopped. A deep and mournful voice came out of the darkness, "Fetch a trolley acc. somebody – my acc. is flat."
After a short delay the mechanical monster came lumbering into view, stopping with a jerk. He cast a cold look at the werewolf, who had been known to mistake the monster for a lamp post.
"Let's all go out and scare somebody" said the smallest skeleton, a somewhat dizzy type who was new to the game.
"Scare nuthin" replied Louie impatiently. "We gotta face it boys – nobody aint scared of us no more, since the war came along. We're just a lotta punks." And he ran a ghostly hand through his hair, while a silence fell on the assembled company, and Dracula, absent mindedly laying a clammy hand on Frankenstein's shoulder, got a nasty shock, which made him jump a foot in the air.
"It is true" echoed Frankenstein. "Every time old Drac. goes on an op. some A.T.S. on a gun site looses off at him, and as for me – the local Home Guard are after me. They want to mount a machine gun on my chest and use me as an armoured vehicle. Then there is the werewolf. Only last night he dropped a clanger. Attacked a bloke who turned out to be a commando, and this bloke bit him in the neck and chased him for five miles!"
As he spoke these words, the smallest skeleton gave a sudden yell "Look a ghost" and its trembling bony hand pointed to a white apparition which was slowly descending the staircase.

[sketch]

It was only the old ghost of Tweedsmuir Towers, anxious to meet a few pals, but it was too much for the gang in the hall. With yells of "ghosts" they made a mad rush for the open windows. The old ghost of Tweedsmuir Towers glided sadly down and gazed at the Headless Horror's head which had been left behind in the rush, and rested on the table, looking particularly futile. "Fancy all dashing away like that" remarked the old ghost. "Anybody would think I had B.O. or something."

[sketch]

[photograph]

LAC. ERIC EASTHAM (682 Squadron)
Author of weekly "Lens" serial "Brick Regan" His home town is Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
Always to be found in the "Star" Hotel!

[page break]

[underlined] Picture – Story [/underlined]
"Underground Grain"

[photograph]

[photograph]

[photograph]

[photograph]

Outside the Toc H building in San Severo you may have noticed several unusual stone squares regularly spread on the patch of ground (You may have tripped over them when visiting the Toc H in the evening). Beneath the strange stones exist underground cellars specially constructed for the storage of grain, wheat, and so on. These cellars are circular in shape, about 18ft. deep and roughly 12ft. in diameter; they were constructed over 50 years ago in ground bought from the authorities by the richer and more influential families in whose possession they remain. When required, the grain is withdrawn from the cellars by a method as ancient as the vaults themselves. A man is lowered by means of a rope into the depths. his companions then lower the large pannier baskets, which he fills below. In this rather laborious way, the grain is taken out of the cellars. Withdrawals, however, are not frequent, usually taking place in harvest time (around June-July) and sowing time, which is about November. The vaults are sealed up for the rest of the year by means of a large trapdoor 8in. thick, which covers the opening. In the centre of the trapdoor is a small hole which is sealed up with a stone, mud covering the entire entrance. The object of the small hole in the trapdoor is to allow the owner to withdraw samples of the grain by means of a long ladle. A likely customer can then be shown the quality of the grain. Naturally the vaults are opened as seldom as possible in order to assist the preservation.

[sketch]

[page break]

Funfare..

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"SIMPLE GAME – ISN'T IT?"

By the Way...
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"BUY GLITTO FLAKES – I DARE YOU!"

A weather report from another station forecast "to-morrow rowdy, clain later", which is perhaps, nevertheless, quite as enlightening as the pre-war B.B.C. reports which announced that seemingly permanent Depression over Iceland.
The late Dr. Spooner was noted for these 'spoonerisms.' Speaking to a delinquent student he once said "You have hissed all the mystery lectures and tasted nearly three worms. I must ask you to leave at once by the town drain."

All is not love that kisses.
A stitch in time will save a broken heart.
Love steps in where angels fear to tread.
Too many kisses spoil the flavour.
A bird in the hand is worth six in the casa.
Where there's a will, love finds a way.
Airmen who live in glass-houses should not throw stones at S.P's.

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"COPY – CAT!"

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'NO CLOUD NO WIND NO HAZE NO PICTURES'

An irate owner saw his horse which he had heavily backed, romping along an easy last in the big race.
"Can't you go any faster, you fool" he called to the jockey.
"Yes, I could" snapped the jockey, "but I have to stay with the horse."

Said the Varlet to the Duke: "Sire, there is a damsel without."
Said the Duke: "Without what?"
Said the Varlet: "Without food and without raiment."
Said the Duke: "Then give the poor girl something to eat and show her in."
OLD SPANISH FOLK-TALE

GHOSTS!
Two men were sitting in a railway carriage. One remarked to the other "I don't believe in ghosts". "Oh, don't you" replied the other and promptly vanished.

A man sleeping alone in an old country house awoke in the middle of the night and reached out for the candle. IT WAS PUT INTO HIS HAND.

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This TURKEY BUSINESS

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A Christmas adventure

Our messing committee decided that they must have turkeys. Christmas without turkeys, they said, was like a bed without – well, anyhow, they wanted turkeys. To buy them young and feed them up, someone said, would save no end of P.S.I. funds.
So Corporal Mash, the cook, and his friend, Squirt of the Fire Section were given a wad of lire notes and detailed to buy four turkeys (There were some misgivings about this. Older members of the unit still remembered vividly their triumphant turkeyless but alcoholic return of the previous year).
However, this time things went off better and in the gathering dusk Mash and Squirt staggered in laden down with turkeys – and a certain amount of alcohol, which they explained they had been able to buy because two of the turkeys were gash. The resourceful Squirt had, it seems, produced a Sten gun during the height of the bargaining, with the result that the tremulous turkey vendor had become more disposed to reason, and almost affectionate. When they left, the kindly man had given them four birds for the price of two and had laden down their pockets with eggs, some of which were even now oozing their albuminous way down the thighs of Mash.
In the cold critical light of morning the turkeys certainly looked gash, all of them. One looked so excessively gash that they decided to race the reaper and eat him that night before he could die a natural death. There wasn't much of him and he didn't taste very good because everyone knew he would have died anyhow, and that put them off.
The three remaining birds, two cocks and a hen, perked up wonderfully on their diet of swill and until tragedy overtook them seemed to be doing well, except for one anxious morning when soya link sausages got in the swill in excessive quantities. They were allowed to roam about the camp at will.
One in particular would have become quite friendly, but he liked to roost on the C.O's car with his tail pointing forward over the windscreen. Well, you know what turkeys are and you know what C.O's are too. The Officers were quite decent about it really and bought him for their evening meal, but he was the pride of the gaggle or gobble or whatever a lot of turkeys are called and his untimely demise cast a gloom over the airmen's mess.
The poor little hen was the next to do herself in, which she did in a most surprising fashion. The friendly fowl was tethered by the leg to prevent any further misdeamours [sic] likely to upset those of exalted rank. One day with her tether trailing after her she took off and circled the camp giving a fine display of aerobatics, a credit for one with such a high wing loading. Even now the pilots argue how it happened, but her evolutions resulted in a perfect clove hitch round her long neck. She fell to earth strangled – edible but dead and Christmas still some weeks off.
CONTD.

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Christmas Memories

You ask me to remember
By twentieth November
What Christmas means to me!
But can a pen convey
The joys of Christmas Day
When exiled oversea?
EXILE

We dream of moon drenched dancers, laughter, fun,
Of sport out in the open, – dining friends,
Of drowsy hours spent neath shaded sun,
Of wide verandahs, where, when daylight ends,
The 'sundowners' are served, while light descends;
Of these and other warming scenes we muse,
While chilling Christmas rains down local gutters ooze.
HEIMWEE

SOUTH AFRICA
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GREAT BRITAIN

I was never at a loss wondering how to spend my pre-war Xmas's. Being an ardent cyclist, I used to start out Xmas Eve, and ride my bike to a certain Welsh Youth Hostel. Lassies and lads from all about used to make it a yearly date and did we have fun. What do you think? Try it sometime.
L.A.C. MOSLEY

This disaster shook everybody more than words can say. All felt that one turkey would not make much of a Christmas Dinner. The remaining turkey seemed to have felt much the same way, or else perhaps he was overwhelmed by remorse. He went right off his appetite and looked as though he was in for jaundice. So a rapid sale was transacted with the Sergeants' Mess. He was sold at a fair loss but it seemed wise to dispose of him before his culinary value still further depreciated.
To-morrow is Christmas Eve. Mash and Squirt are going out to buy turkeys. Christmas without turkeys the mess committee said was like – but you know all about that.

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Photographs of

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Pictures of POMPEI taken by L.A.C. G. SUSSAMS (683 Sqdn)

Pictures of SAN SEVERO and ROME SERIES taken by L.A.C. Don Daggett (336 Wing) and L.A.C. George Blake (336)

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the Year ..

Taken by 'LENS' readers

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"Homecoming .."

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I don't know whether anyone will read this; is anyone reading? I came in when no one was looking, so I hope someone will read it – it took me a long time to set up the type.
This is a story I want everyone to read – it's so important; it's about me... I came into the village at about dusk, and as I walked down the dusty main street, the old church bell struck the ninth hour of evening. The children were playing their last games in the dusty road and the women stood at their cottage doors gossiping as women will. Indeed, as I passed down the street, towards the old Inn which I knew so well, the children ceased their games and ran indoors, half-frightened at the approaching darkness. I had noticed as I entered the old village a certain tenseness which seemed to increase as I made for the Inn, and as I passed by those old familiar cottages I heard words which were hard to understand:
"It is the hundred years" said one.
"Yes", said another "to-night is the night – the hundred years"
And another "I wonder if he will come."
No one spoke to me as I made my way to the Inn – perhaps no one recognised me, for it had been many years since I came here last and I had changed. I went into the Inn and as I drank my ale I listened and always the talk was the same:
"The hundred years"..........."Tonight at midnight"........"Will he come, do you think?"
I left the Inn and went down towards the river where I had fished so many times as a boy and as I walked through the fields, I watched the mists rise off the river and drift out from those old willows in whose shade I had spent many pleasant hours. Darkness fell as I wandered thus through the fields of my youth and I felt a tiredness come upon me as I turned my steps towards the old Manor, which had been my home for so long. I was glad now that I had come, I had thought that I would be sorry but that was not so, and as I went up the hill to the Manor I wondered if SHE would be there – she had promised to wait and I hoped now as I came near the old drawbridge that she had kept her word.
A dog howled as I approached the old wicket gate, perhaps that was Towser – he would be glad to see me again, old Towser; we had been pals, he and I. We would have much to talk about now. The oak doors stood slightly ajar as I climbed the stone steps. I went in and stood for a few seconds in the hall but no one came. Standing there I shivered slightly as the tower clock struck midnight. I walked up the massive staircase as I had done so many times as a boy and I stopped to touch the carved oak at the head of the stairs, as I had always done.
Suddenly I heard footsteps pattering along the landing. A woman approached carrying a candle -could it be she? She came closer – her eyes were staring at me. Before I could speak she gasped aloud, the candle dropped from her shaking hand. She turned and ran, screaming.............
She had seen a ghost.

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"Christmas with [underlined] MRS. MINIVER [/underlined]"

"She re-arranged the fire a little, mostly for the pleasure of handling the fluted steel poker, and then sat down by it. Tea was already laid: there were honey sandwiches, brandy snaps, and small ratafia biscuits; and there would, she knew, be crumpets. Three new library books lay virginally on the fender-stool, their bright paper wrappers unsullied by subscriber's hand. The clock on the mantle-piece chimed, very softly and precisely, five times. A tug hooted from the river. A sudden breeze brought the sharp tang of a bonfire in at the window. the jigsaw was almost complete, but there was still one piece missing. And then, from the other end of the square, came the familiar sound of the Wednesday barrel-organ, playing, with a hundred aprocryphal [sic] trills and arpeggios, the "Blue Danube" waltz. And Mrs. Miniver, with a little sigh of contentment, rang for tea...."
"Placing herself neatly in the wake of a bull necked woman in tweeds, she slipped out of the shop. There was a raw wind; sleety rain was beginning to fall, blurring the lamplight; the pavements were seal-sleek; it was settling down into one of those nasty wet evenings which the exiled Londoner longs for with a quite unbearable nostalgia......"

Christmas Morning

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"To the banquet of real presents which was waiting downstairs, covered with a red and white dust sheet, the stocking-toys, of course, were only an aperitif, but they had a special and ezciting [sic] quality of their own. Perhaps it was the atmosphere in which they were opened – the chill, the black window-panes, the unfamiliar hour; perhaps it was the powerful charm of the miniature, of toy toys, of smallness squared; perhaps it was the sense of limitation within a strict form, which gives to both the filler and the emptier of a Christmas stocking, something of the same enjoyment which is experienced by the writer and the reader of a sonnet.."
"This was one of those moments, thought Mrs. Miniver, which paid off at a single stroke all the accumulations on the debit side of parenthood; the morning sickness and the quite astonishing pain; the pram in the passage, the cold mulish glint in the cook's eye; the holiday nurse who had been in the best families; the pungent white mice, the shrivelled caterpillars; the plasticine on the door handles, the face-flannels in the bathroom, the nameless horrors down the crevices of arm-chairs; the alarms and emergencies, the swallowed button, the inexplicable earache, the ominous rash appearing on the eve of a journey; the school bills and the dentist's bills; the shortened step, the tempered pace, the emotional compromises, the divided loyalties, the adventures continually forsworn."

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1944 SPORT

Having been given the unpleasant task of writing an unbiased Sports review of the various sporting activities that have taken place within the Wing since the "Lens" made its appearance, we feel that the best thing to do is to "pour oil on troubled waters" so to speak, by first of all wishing our readers a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. May they one and all be spending the next festive season around their own family hearth.

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[underlined] CRICKET [/underlined] The cricket season started rather late due to the fact that we were rather badly handicapped for equipment, but once the tackle had arrived, thanks to Squadron personnel and an American bulldozer team, a pitch was soon laid down and our National Game got into its stride.

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Many fine games were played and mid way through the season the competetive [sic] spirit was brought to the fore when "Merrie" England on behalf of 683 Squadron, then unbeaten, challenged any individual team or combination of teams. A Combined Wing, 682 and SAAF team first lowered their colours and then 682 fielding a 'scratch' XI thrice trounced them in one week and by then the famous "Trumpet" had blown its last note. The highlights of the cricket season were the two games played by a Combined XI at the Foggia "Oval", 205 Group home ground. Our first encounter in which Jack Goodwin of 682 Sqdn returned the fine bowling average of 8 wkts. for 30 out of a total of 116 runs, ended in disaster. Our batsmen – all personalities with a name for run making – failed owing to nothing else but stage fright. The return game, however, brought about a very different result with our batsmen making 186 for 3 wkts in our allotted time, to which 205 Group replied with 142 for 6 wkts.
Outstanding stars from each unit were as follows: "Merrie" England and Ivor Burnett (683 Sqdn), Jones, Stokeley and Goodwin of 682, Maloney and Cryer – 60 SAAF, Comben and Sumner of the Wing.

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[underlined] TABLE TENNIS [/underlined] Once again lack of equipment hampered our efforts at Table Tennis but it is an interesting point to recall that the American Red Cross team consisted of six British fellows, namely Cpl's Jones, Stokely and Harris of 682 Sqdn., L/Cpl Smith – R.E's, Cpl. Middleton and LAC Franks of MAPRW, the only American being Pfc. Poliey.

[underlined] DARTS [/underlined] The "LENS" Dart Shield competition was the outstanding indoor sporting event of the year. After many fine and evenly contested rounds, the final was played off between two Wing teams, the Tryers and Gremlins. The battle ground for the final was the old "Gremlin Arms", better known to our readers now as the "Tudor Tavern". Gremlins were the final victors and the Shield was presented by S/Ldr. "King" Cole.
[underlined] SOFTBALL AND VOLLEYBALL [/underlined] The "Springboks" took enthusiastically to Softball and Volleyball. Several games were played against American units and towards the end of the season, the Springboks were becoming a force to be reckoned with.

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review

LAC'S
[underlined] Easom & Shuttleworth [/underlined]

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[underlined] SOCCER [/underlined] First of all we would like to express our appreciation to "Blondie" Oates and Co. of 683 Sqdn. for the amount of time and hard work they have put into making the soccer pitch the excellent field that it is to-day. Also our thanks and best wishes to Cpl. Jones (682) and LAC Starling (683) for their co-operation in providing us with reports for the "Lens" weekly Sports Review.
The soccer season started in earnest with a Combined Wing XI visiting our old friends at 205 Group. An excellent game proved to us that the Wing and Sqdns. could produce a team worthy of meeting any neighbouring units. The commencement of the Lens Soccer League, however, stifled any hopes we might have entertained of meeting other Wings in such games, since every unit team was fully occupied in playing league fixtures.
The league which was formed with the idea of fostering the competitive spirit amongst the units of the Wing, which in last season's friendly games always seemed to be lacking, met with instant success and it was very gratifying to us to see such splendid co-operation from all sides.

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The league champions were in doubt until the very end. Wing, at first considered likely champions, especially after their defeat of 683 Sqdn., fell to pieces in their last three games, leaving 682 SQdn, skippered by Syd Jones, worthy champions with 683 Sqdn. runners-up.
Plans have been made for a new League with more entrants to commence in the New Year. It is hoped that it will meet with the same measure of success as the previous league.

[underlined] SPORTING MEMOIRS [/underlined]

Do you remember..........
The sadly battered trumpet of "Merrie England"
The consistently accurate bowling of Ivor Burnett and Jack Goodwin.
The hat-trick of hat-tricks by Maloney, F/Lts. "Bill" Leatham and Revill-Johnson.
That tremendous straight drive for 6 by Yudleman.
That sparkling century – the only one of the season – by Frank Stokeley against 205 Group.
The steady batting and splendid wicket-keeping of Cpl's Jones and England.
The night the "Gremlins" won the dart shield. What a merry band so ably led by Cpl. Jack Bray
The many other dart matches played and won by the Wing – incidentally so far unbeaten this season,
The sparkling runs down the right wing by "Blondie" Sewell
That breath taking ride to 205 Group in the "San Severo Express No 680.
The brilliant feats of running by "Johnny" Johnston of 683 in local athletic meetings.

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Memoirs we could write for ever but those mentioned will always remind us of our sporting activities on this Wing.

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[underlined] 'The LENS' Football League Shield [/underlined]

Winners :

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[underlined] 682 SQUADRON XI [/underlined]

[underlined] Team [/underlined] :
Back row (left to right):
CPL. MULLINS, LAC O'CONNELL, LAC CUMMINGS, SGT MOORE, CPL. STOKELY
Front row (left to right):
CPL. HARDING, LAC EATON, LAC RUSH, CPL JONES (Capt.), F/O HERMINSTON, LAC STALLEY
[underlined] Other 682 personnel present [/underlined] :
(Left to right):
LAC TREGEAR, CPL. HARRIS, LAC GOODWIN, LAC BARRETT, SGT. HOOLES.

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Our Christmas Crossword

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[underlined] CLUES ACROSS [/underlined] 2. Film star in alloy 4. General purport, 6. Mischievous child, 8. See 9 Across, 9. With 8 Across – Well known radio show, 11. Christmas character, 14. A lap scene (anag), 16. Parliaments may be ordered for the gastric, 17. Starting ladder, 19. A conference was held at these Springs, 21. Disorderly tea, 22. Yanks call him Junior, 24 Salts in enormous demand, 25 The RAAF comes from, 27. Sinks under pressure, 28. Has this column been marching many miles? 29. Grade, 31, Sap this to make an Army engineer, 32. Exclamation, 34. Commence a song, 35 NAAFI Special, 36 Expression, 37. Beginners at this, 38. This stone guides the mariner.

[underlined] CLUES DOWN [/underlined]. 1. A goose – not the Xmas one, 2. Sign of the Zodiac, 3. Not I, 4. Copied from a master, 5. Rules, 8. Average level of sea, 10. Detective, 12. These help or hinder the crops, 13. Of oats, 14. You usually want a ticket for this, 15. Draw out, 17. Encampment – sounds like beer, 18. Change a port to make the head of a chapter, 19. Become sound, 20. A pancake should be, 23. Frequently in the loft, 26 Indian peasant, 27 An alteration in cost, 28 A mimic or a monkey, 30, Sorry, 33. Interior of shed, 34 Flatfoot.
50 CIGARETTES FIRST CORRECT SOLUTION OPENED ON JANUARY 1st 1945.

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"SABOTYPE.."

He is usually to be found in an office somewhere – just as the book-worm normally lives in books. Part of his job, therefore, if not all of it, is dealing with paper: paper of every kind – forms, files, folders, memos, minutes and what have you.
Now many people in the Service have to deal with paper as their job, but their attitude towards it is very different from that of the Paper Slave. For they use their common sense – their sense of proportion. They take care that paper stays [underlined] subservient [/underlined] to them, remains always their servant, not their master. Just as a corset controls the feminine form and keeps it not only in place but shapely, so do the majority of people who have to deal with paper treat it with skill and firmness.
Not so this Sabotype. He is an utter and complete slave to the paper he works with. It dominates his life.
In the first place he can never throw any of it away; every scrap has to be kept and filed. He cannot distinguish between the valuable paper, the likely-to-be-valuable and the completely useless from the moment its mission is accomplished. Into his files and folders it all goes.
In the second place the Paper Slave, apart from saving all the unnecessary paper he receives, is constantly adding to the unnecessary paper in existence by manufacturing it himself. He does this in many ways.
For instance, he will never let a correspondence drop if it can possibly be kept alive. However final the minute or memo sent him he can always find some sort of answer or unnecessary further query. He will even send an official receipt for a receipt he has just received, if it's humanly possible.
Or he will send out extra carbon copies of letters he writes; the recipient does not need them, but they are sent – just in case.
Or he will write minutes – requiring answers, of course, on matters which can be dealt with – complete with answer – in thirty seconds on the phone.
Or he will waste a couple of days corresponding punctiliously with people three doors away whom he can easily visit personally, and come away in half an hour with a brief written record of the discussion. He has even been known to dictate minutes and have them typed and sent officially through a central registry to someone in the self-same office.

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PAPER SLAVE!

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In the third place, when writing, he will never fail to use three or four words when one will do. (For "I agree," he will quite happily write "The foregoing remarks receive my concurrence.") He invariably employs verbose cliches, unmanageable idioms, tortuous turgid words – often in their wrong sense – and then takes hours doing it. Frequently he so obscures his meaning that the whole point is missed; and time – and further paper – is expended in elucidation.
In the fourth place, such is his respect for paper and lack of sense of proportion, that each file or minute or memo is to him of equal importance, regardless of its contents. thus each must take its turn. Laboriously, therefore, he deals verbosely with an unimportant matter because it came in two days ago, whereas important matters which only arrived that morning have to wait.
And what is the result of our sabotype's activities? It's easy to see.
That absence of all ability to decide what letters should be kept and what destroyed, what dealt with immediately and what left in abeyance; that inability to throw away correspondence, however out-of-date or useless; that circumlocution and crepuscular phraseology; that tendency to write unnecessary latters, [sic] to send unnecessary carbons, and to get everything, however immaterial, "down in black and white"; all this results in his office becoming a sheer welter of carefully docketed but meaningless junk, everything put away and cross-referenced in file after file – in the midst of which cringes the Paper Slave afraid to cancel half a line or wash out a word of it.
In this welter, too, he can find nothing that is really wanted, without a long time wasting search, because there is so much that is valueless and so many references and indexes to be consulted; moreover, in the offices of others his unnecessary replies, carbons and acknowledgements either clutter up files or flood waste-paper baskets, all to no purpose.
And so the Paper Slave, goes on, unable to make paper serve his ends, slowly bogging down in it, like Laocoon in the serpent's toils. He wastes his own time and other people's. He confuses simple issues for himself and others by verbosity and meaningless correspondence. He revolves ineptly under the dominance of his slave-master, expending uselessly time, temper, energy and the very paper he worships. For him it is not a means to an end; it is the end itself. He is hindering the war effort.
HE IS A SABOTYPE.

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Photograph of the Year
TAKEN BY
[underlined] L.A.C DON DAGGETT (336) [/underlined]

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Stanley Warburton's SHOW [underlined] NEWSREEL [/underlined] Xmas Edition

"Good shows for Christmas" is the keynote of events in Britain. Pantomimes are in full swing, particularly in London. Bobby Howes and Binnie Hale are together again in "Cinderella" at the Winter Garden Theatre. This is Bobby Howes' first appearance in panto. The two stars made their triumph together in "Mr. Cinders" and later in "Yes, Madam" at the Hippodrome......The London Coliseum is staging "Goody Two Shoes" starring Pat Kirkwood and Richard Hearne (comic in those pre-war Leslie Henson "Gaiety" shows).......In Glasgow Will Fyffe and Harry Gordon are together again at the Alhambra.......At Leeds the Dame is George Lacey, who has just made a success in the West End in a show called "Russian Merry-Go-Round"........Arthur Riscoe plays the part of the French dress designer in the revival of "Irene" which Jack Hylton is presenting at Manchester for Christmas. Pat Taylor will be Irene of "Alice Blue-Gown" fame.
J.B. Priestley's play "The Golden Fleece" opening at Hull, goes to the liberated countries for troop showings after a short tour, before playing in the West End.......Leslie Banks play "Bottom" and John Gielgud Oberon in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Haymarket....... Ivor Novello returns to the Adelphi with "The Dancing Years" and will follow with his new musical play........Sadlers Wells ballet is breaking all records but has to leave the Princes Theatre to tour for ENSA. The opera company will succeed with a new opera written by Benjamin Britten
London theatres seem to be going all-British just now. The St. James' Theatre has launched a policy of exclusively British plays: they opened with a domestic comedy called "Residents Only" by two British Army officers. This will be followed by similar plays born in England. All these shows will project the background, character and ideas of our own country, this being a significant move in the West End theatre. These plays too, will give a chance to youth to step forward on the London stage, for many of the players will be drawn from provincial repertory companies........"SHOW NEWSREEL", COMPETITION RESULT: LAC. D.K.S. Wild sent us the winning criticism. "Lens" readers were asked to send along their choice of "the best film screened in San Severo this year". LAC. Wild says "The film "Song of Bernadette" was, in my opinion, a picture that stands out like a star above any that have been screened in San Severo this year. Noteworthy was the magnificent casting of all the characters and the inspired portrayal of Saint Bernadette by newcomer, Jennifer Jones. The technical qualities, photography, sound recording and above all the music was beyond compare, and as for the story – well, I have been a film fan for over 20 years and the "Song of Bernadette" could do me for the next 20"......Looking back on our "Film Year" in San Severo we discover that we have seen quite a galaxy of good pictures. There have been some first-rate musicals, (such as "The Gang's All Here"), some excellent movies for the "escapists" (the best were "Once Upon a Time" and "It Happened Tomorrow") and some scintilating [sic] light comedies ("What a Woman" and "The Heavenly Body" rating top). On the serious side, Bette Davis has outshone all by "Mr. Skeffington" and Paul Lukas has taken first place with his "Watch on the Rhine". In the small character parts, Barry Fitzgerald leads the field with his fine performance in "Going my Way". As for the "best film screened this year" I would immediately rate "The Constant Nymph" starring Charles Boyer and Joan Fontaine. Direction, acting, photography, editing – in fact everything, was perfect.
In this film, which, by the way, has not hit London yet, we saw some of the finest acting that has ever been seen on the screen. Yes, "The Constant Nymph" rates top place in my selection. We look forward to 1945 for even better movies and a step-up on the British side of the industry.

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A Glimpse of Rome

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1. Victor Emmanuel Memorial
2. Victor Emmanuel Memorial
3. St. Peter's Square
4. Coliseum
5. St. Angelo Castle & Bridge

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Christmas Messages FROM ALL THE UNITS...

G/CPT. SOUTHWELL 336 Wing
On behalf of Group Captain J.M. Southwell D.F.C. (absent on duty at the time of going to press) we extend to all personnel of Wing and Squadrons the heartiest wishes for a happy Christmas and Peace in the New Year. Each of us during the year has worked hard and well and we may feel that our efforts have played no little part towards the forthcoming total defeat of the enemy.
The Editor

"We are all used to Service Christmases by now, and I know that we all hope and pray that next Christmas we will all be in our own homes, round our own fires, and with our own families to join us in our happiness.
"We will not forget these Christmases away from home when we missed the happy faces of our children and those who are dear to us, but "Active Service Christmases" have given us a deeper understanding of good fellowship and a more sincere appreciation of our friends and Allies.
"In wishing you all a very happy Christmas, I hope that this spirit of goodwill and understanding will not only continue but will increase during the coming year."
MAJOR ALLAM 60 S.A.A.F Squadron

S/L BUCHANAN 682 Squadron
"The last Christmas overseas! This is the natural hope of us all and it will be realized by the coming defeat of those who seek to banish the Christmas spirit from the earth.
To all readers of the "Lens", a merry Christmas this year and the "best ever" next year."

"Very best wishes to you all for the merriest Christmas possible overseas and for a New Year which will see us all happily settled in Civvy Street. British P.R.U. has added in 1944 to the reputation it built in previous years. Now let us put on the final touches.
S/L TURTON 683 Squadron

S/L FRIEND 680 Squadron
"I would like to take this opportunity of wishing all readers of the "Lens" a Merry Christmas on behalf of the members of 680 Squadron Detachment.
You may rest assured that you will be much in our thoughts at Christmas time – sitting there in your nice warm billets, you lucky people, whilst we face the horrors of the war here in our Olive Grove.
Much as we like you all we sincerely hope that this is the last Christmas we shall be called upon to spend here with you. We shan't be offended if you feel the same way about us. Let us hope that by this time next year we shall all be home.

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"I HEAR ..."

I heard an officer say to-day
Now this is only what I heard
That we'll all be home before next May,
So don't forget now – Mum's the word !

And when I went to lunch at noon,
(Please keep this beneath your hat)
I heard we'll all be moving soon,
Have no doubts about all that.

And did you hear there's posting in,
For many men upon this station ?
Now please don't make an awful din
About this piece of information.

Now all these things I have been told
By my friends and by my mates.
But honestly they leave me cold;
For Pete's sake close the Rumour gates.

[underlined] PUZZLE PAGE SOLUTIONS [/underlined]

[sketch]
SOLVE THIS ...

Typist's Mistakes
1. chickens, 2 apple, 3 rod, 4 choice, 5 Inn, 6. Coat and Badge, 7. England, 8 Seville, 9 Pook's Hill, 10 Calais, 11 Aragon, 12 Athens 13 Khartoum.

What is?
1. Descending prices with first bid accepted, 2. A spectral ship said to appear off the Cape, 3. Things might be worse, 4 Courage produced by alcohol

Thoughts
1. Portland, 2. Bridge, 3. Wordsworth, 4 Jersey.

QUIZ –
1. Yes, in Kathiawar. 2. Chu-Chin-Chow (2238 performances) had the longest run in London. 3. Yorkshire is the largest county in England, Rutlandshire the smallest. 4. A sortie is "one flight by one plane" 5. The equinox is the moment the sun crosses the Equator, rendering day and night equal in length. This happens in March and September. 6. Gloucester Regiment in memory of their back-to-back fight at the Battle of Alexandria. 7. Letter writing. Greatest of all letter writers was Mme de Sevigne. 8. Ancient Greek Philosopher. 9. New York. 10. The expression 'pin money' started when hat pins were in vogue originally. Housewives, keen on possessing this new boon, asked their husbands for the wherewithal to buy them – hence "Pin Money". 11. Pilgrim Fathers. 12. Mona Lisa. 13. Captain Webb. 14. Disraeli. 15. Handel. 16. Everest. 17. The expression 'minding one's P's and Q's dates back to Elizabethan times. People drinking in taverns had their accounts chalked up. Customers would caution the innkeeper to be careful not to mix the figures under Pints and Quarts. 18. Dr. Cronin. 19. £1400 for Bryn Jones. He was transferred from Wolves to Arsenal. 20. Commander Peary and Roald Amundsen.

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The Tudor Tavern

[photograph]

sends HEARTY GREETINGS to 'LENS' readers

[photograph]

[photograph]

'There's a Tavern in the town!'

683

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REPRODUCED BY 941st ENGR BN DECEMBER 1944

Collection

Citation

Great Britain. Royal Air Force, “The Lens 1944 Christmas Number,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed August 11, 2020, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/16400.

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