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A special thank you to those who have passed it on to others. We are heading quickly to amazing page visits to this blog! Welcome to folks from all over the country and other countries as well, including Lisbon!!

The "Village", as it was called, is located in the northwest corner of the city of Taunton, Massachusetts U.S.A. It covers about 1 square mile with the center being School Street. A large portion of the Village population was Portuguese when I was growing up.

This blog covers a lot of the history of the Village, much to do with my years as a child there: 1940 through the late 1950's. I do have many wonderful photos and information prior to that that and will share those as well. Always looking for MORE PHOTOS AND MORE STORIES TO TELL.

If you would like to send photos or share a memory of growing up in the Village
e-mail me at
feel free to comment on the posts. Directions are on the right side of the blog posts. Jump in, the water is fine and it is easy!!!

I will be posting photographs but not identifying individuals unless I have permission or they are a matter of public record. It you wish to give me permission, please let me know.

I am looking for any and all photos of the Village...

Please note: the way blogs work is that the latest post is first. It you would like to start from the beginning of the blog, check out the post labels on the right of the blog and go from there. Thanks.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


If  it were not for Ziggy and Alveda's faithful writing and their enclosed photos, we would have no record of what transpired with Ziggy's military sojourn.  Somehow, a large amount of WWII army records were lost in a 1976 fire, Ziggy's included.  Hopefully, government agencies are more careful today with archival storage of these precious records. 
There are probably more records of the Civil War!

But, we do have these precious documents.
Bless those little Brownie cameras on
both sides of the Atlantic.

Ziggy started out at Fort Devens in Massachusetts from Buffalo, New York, was sent
on to Camp Miles Standish to ready for embarkation, where he met Alveda.
His first stop after that, as we know, was Iceland.
While in Iceland, Ziggy apparently witnessed a viewing of the British
and American troops by Winston Churchill.  
Ziggy himself dates this photograph 1943.
This is pretty interesting as the only time I could find (on Google) that Churchill 
was in neutral Iceland was in 1941 when he met FDR on a yacht moored nearby. 
 So Ziggy might have had a jump on historians.....or not.

Ziggy's orders found him next in France as he followed his WWII destiny.  
Here he is with a bunch of guys, some of whom had served with him in Iceland.
 Ziggy notes that those fellows are marked with an X.

This is such a precious photograph.
 Wouldn't it be wonderful if someone recognized a loved one?
Did all of them return.....?   This is for sure in France where  Ziggy would be wounded by shrapnel fire in both ankles, suffering severe burns.  We do not know any other details: just the fact that the pain and scars bothered him his whole life.  He must have recouperated enough because, as we shall see, he stayed over there with his outfit.


The writing across the sea continued and there is little doubt that Ziggy shared the photos of his lovely sweetheart with his mates.  Here is Alveda (left)  with a good friend on the front stoop of the Souza home on School Street sending him a warm smile of home and hope for better days.

Meanwhile, Camp Miles Standish now included a German and Italian prisoner of war camp. Once Italy was out of the war, Italian prisoners were allowed a bit more more freedom and could leave the camp on their own to visit Italian families in the Taunton area.
They still required passes.  Taunton historian, Dr.William Hanna relates that some of the Italian soldiers would skip out under the fence
on their own and change in someone's car.  It seems that that was so common,
" Taunton buses would stop at the gate and then at two holes in the fence."
They could even be seen walking around the downtown area.
 Germans were kept confined under 24 hour guard and were marched to meals.
Only a few of them were allowed, under guard,
 to work somewhere in the Weir, as there was a wartime
shortage of workers.

 A friend tells me her mother forbade her to wave to any of the prisoners.

Sorry if photo off kilter...

                            Note: I plan to acknowledge all my sources at the end of this series

The Camp continued to play a big part in the Village and Taunton social scene.
Another friend relaated that three of her sisters met their future husbands there,
where they were part of the U.S.O.

  The children in the Village knew the camp,too, another Village alumni tells us, since the army trucks traveling from the Camp would lumber down Purchase Street.  No one knew where they were going, but the kids would rush to the corner of Wilbur and Purchase so that the soldiers could wave to them.

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