The last few days of 1944 found the Allied Nations full of a great hope and joy such as had not been experienced for many years. Things were going very well in Europe, and it seemed only a matter of time before World War Two, the great conflict that would claim a total of 452,000 British and Commonwealth lives, would be over.
(Extract from editorial message, The R.A.S.C. (Royal Army Service Corps) Review for Xmas, 1944)
“This is our fourth Christmas, and we feel that our readers will not be disappointed with this year’s issue and will find the magazine appropriately festive for a Christmas celebrated under happier auspices than for many years… We ourselves would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and that 1945 will bring many of you back to your homes to celebrate next Christmas at your own firesides.”
Sure enough, Germany surrendered less than five months later, on 7th May 1945. The families of the men fighting or being held prisoner by the Japanese would have to wait a little longer for their men to come home, as the war with Japan didn’t end until 2nd September 1945. Nine months may sound like a very short time, but to the families waiting anxiously for news of their loved ones, it seemed an age. At Christmas 1944, all they could do was wait, hope, and dream of being together.