Christmas in Britain during World War II
Bill Albers returns to the WACO Lecture Series this month with a special Christmas themed lecture,
“Christmas in Britain during World War II.” This presentation, on Thursday, December 13 th begins at
7:00 p.m., and doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The lecture covers the Christmas traditions of the British people before and during WW II. The life of the
British, especially for the Londoners, was very difficult during the 5 years at war and it was very different
from life in the US.
The lecture will cover the declaration of War with Germany, the Battle of Britain, the evacuation of
338,000 British and French soldiers from the Dunkirk beaches in France and the daily bombing of the
large English cities during the Blitz. The British fought for survival during the early years of the war and
were determined not to surrender and be occupied by the Germans.
The arrival of the US soldiers in January of 1942 changed the daily lives of many people in Britain and
the lives of many GIs. The cultures were different but were mostly accepted by the British and their
American allies. During these difficult years the British attempted to celebrate the Christmas holidays
without their traditional food and presents. GIs were encouraged to participate; it was appreciated by
many British families during 1942-1944. The relations and understanding of each culture has been very
good since the days of the American arrivals in Britain during WWII.
Speaker Bill Albers was born in Amsterdam in 1940 and as a child, survived a 5 year long German
occupation during World War II. He served in the Royal Dutch Air Force as a jet aircraft mechanic and
earned a degree in mechanical engineering before coming to the US in 1965. He continued to study
engineering in Ohio and lived and worked in the US before becoming a citizen in 1977. Bill has held
positions as an engineering manager, sales manager, and divisional manager, VP of sales & engineering,
and CEO of different US companies. He now is busily retired and spends 2 days a week working at the
Champaign Aviation Museum as curator, and building the B-17G bomber. Bill is a pilot with Sidney
airport as his home base and holds a private, instrument, commercial, and ground school instructor pilot
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