A letter about Joan Rogers, nee McAllister

Written by Sgt. ‘Tiny’ Burke B.E.M., 2 Cdo. [more....] to Pte. Len Justice 2 Cdo. [more....] about the recent death of Joan Rogers, the wife of LSgt. Joe Rogers MM (2 Cdo) [more....] and sister of TSM Ken McAllister (2 Cdo) [more....]
Source: David Justice (son of Len); Pete Rogers (son of Joe and Joan)

Dear Len
Here we are another year gone by. Time when one thinks of old friends and comrades. Hope you are keeping well. Great reunion again, but a little sadness for poor old Joe Rogers and Ken McAllister.

Joe’s wife, Ken’s sister, had died just two weeks before as you may know. She was a sweet girl and a very nice person, did you ever meet her Len? She was in Bari when we were there with the first ATS to come to Italy. I met there with Jimmy Newall. We were on our way to Molfetta from the Island Vis , and her and her girls opened up a lot of friendships with the lads who came over to Molfetta for a few days leave.

They used to invite the lads to afternoon tea dances in the YWCA which before were “Verboten” as the top brass monopolised what females there were there, ie. Queen Alexandria Nursing Officers, who wouldn’t look at anything below the rank of Captain, but couldn’t do anything about it when Joan and her girls invited them. Even old Wally Denham took up the Last Waltz.

It’s round this time of the year when I think of that wonderful old tune “Oft in the still of night fond memories all around me”, and at Hogmanay, with the old year gone, I have memories of the other family, some long gone, others all round the world, and think how fortunate I was to have known and had the pleasure of serving with.

Time flies by but memories never fade more so the good ones. I much prefer to forget the bad ones we had. Once more I hope you and yours are all well. My old dutch has been laid up this past month with Sciatica, very painful but my girls are a great help to us. Will close now old friend. Regards to any of the lads you may come across. I have just heard from Bill Ellwood who sends his kind regards to to all, so all the best old friend. I have a few greetings to send out and I am hoping the postal strike doesn’t come off.

Yours Aye
Tiny, Christina, family

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