Other side of the pond

This week, we had a visit from JD at Hankelow Noticeboard along with Linda and Christina Hall, the daughter and granddaughter of Thomas Grasser, a GI from the WW2 stationed in Hankelow.

Thomas was a GI from Kenosha, Wisconsin who was stationed in Hankelow Court in 1944 with the 193rd Ambulance Company. He was only 19 years old at the time. The Hall family spent some time at the Court, who showed them round and told them as much as they could about the WW2 history in Hankelow.

Photo of Thomas Grasser

The court had a camp capacity of 1275 US army personnel, and as we know The White Lion was open at the time, most likely some of these used to frequent the pub during the war.

Christina Hall told a story that her Grandpa had had a few whiskeys one night and set out to walk back to the Court. He found himself walking into the pond, which had no fence at the time. Having got his feet wet he decided there was no point in turning back so he just carried on right through the middle of the pond, up to his waist in muddy water and duck poop! Next day he was on extra duties.

He also told a story about a Mosquito crash at the Parkes, in which the GI’s were tasked with recovering the remains of the two Polish crew. They found nothing bigger than a hand. The crater could be seen for years after the war.

Linda and Christina Hall, with Christina’s husband Glen Osburn and their son Nicholas, in front of The White Lion

A huge thank you to Linda and Christina for coming to visit and share their history.

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