Month: December 2018

Aldbourne History in Toccoa, Georgia

Passing on a message from a visitor to Aldbourne.

My family and I visited your wonderful village this past July and as a former member of the 506th Infantry, I was honored to my core that your population has not forgotten my Currahee forefathers.

I was humbled to stand in the Blue Boar to have a pint of bitter where men like Lewis Nixon and Richard Winters had meals and socialized during down time whilst awaiting the orders to take mainland Europe back.

For Christmas this year, my wife suggested that we take a trip to Toccoa, Georgia, where the regiment was founded since it is only 6 hours from our home. I have shared some of the photos I took above. There are some inside and outside photos of the stables the men stayed in. I am told that these were disassembled in Aldbourne and reassembled in the Toccoa/Currahee Museum.

I also included a photo of the flagpole at the pinnacle of Currahee mountain and a view of the lowland from near the top. Again, chills ran down my spine while standing in the footsteps of these men and I felt moved to share them with you all.

David Thompson – December 2018


Early Call from Aldbourne Band

Band on Church

Aldbourne Band were out and about this morning, following their time honoured tradition to herald Christmas Day.  For those of us who partake of social media, it was fun to watch the comments appearing as the group of stalwart players made progress through the streets and of course to hear the soft notes (we’re not near a streetlamp these days) of ‘Silent Night’.

Read the account of a ‘new American friend’ who visited the village in 1985 to explore the custom (with thanks to Graham Smith for the copy of the article).  Brass Caroling with Aldbourne Band – Douglas Smith (pdf opens in new window).  For lots more information, please visit Aldbourne Band – A History by Graham Palmer on the Aldbourne Heritage Centre website – particularly chapter 13, Christians Awake!

Perhaps shy of being in Bethlehem itself the experience of responding to the musical strains of ‘O Come, Let us Adore him, Christ the Lord,’ played beautifully from atop the church tower on that snowy Christmas morning, will linger in my memory as no other. The band did not sing, they did not have to.  Their playing, the dedication which motivated it, said to their American observer everything that needed to be said about the good news of Christmas.

Dr Douglas Smith, professor of church music at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, writing for the British Notebook in The Church Musician September 1985