Christmas Parcels Reach the 166th (Newfoundland) Field Regiment, in Italy.

Photo Credit: The Rooms: NA 27185.2;  [Christmas] Day, Monte Acuto, Italy. The 166th (Newfoundland) Field Regiment.  Sitting (L-R): George Bray, Joe Small, Charles Coish, William Davis. Standing (L-R): unidentified, Frank Tilley, Solomon Saunders, and Michael Kennedy. [Note the Xmas Tree]

During Christmas of 1944  the Corner Brook Branch of the Women’s Patriotic Association (WPA)  were very pleased to receive two telegrams from  two young Newfoundland soldiers  serving with  the 166th Regiment in Italy

One of the telegrams was from Lionel Chaffey, 25 years old originally from Laurenceton, N.L the eldest son of Lewis and Alberta (Dalton) Chaffey.  Lionel’s telegram to the WPA  read simply  “Parcel received many thanks”.

The second telegram was from another Newfoundlander also serving with the 166thJames Guppy age 28 in his telegram stated “Parcel received, many thanks, kind regards”.

These two young Newfoundlanders were serving with the 166th (Newfoundland) Field Regiment, in Italy.

Chaffey  joined up at Corner Brook on May 12, 1940, serving for the duration of the war. He saw action in the North Africa and Italy campaigns and was awarded the Military Medal at Cassino, Italy, while seconded to a regiment from India.

GUPPY, born in Port Rexton, served overseas in Italy and North Africa with the 166th Newfoundland Field Regiment.

Their telegrams were sent to express their thanks for a Christmas box that had been delivered to them. Initially the woman of Corner Brook wanted to send Christmas cakes but they were informed that this was thought impracticable.  They were advised to place an order with T. Eaton Company Limited, Toronto and they would see that a package containing such articles as tooth powder, shaving cream, comb, writing paper and envelopes, handkerchief, razor blades, book, chocolate bars, life savers and hot drinking chocolate was sent each boy serving overseas.

The boys would also receive a carton of cigarettes from the Imperial Tobacco Company.

The women of Corner Brook were very pleased to receive the telegrams among many other acknowledgments from all branches of the force.

The Newfoundland soldiers from Corner Brook  serving in Italy were also to receive in another package two pairs of socks. These were packed and addressed individually and sent direct from the Corner Brook Branch of the Women’s Patriotic Association.

Lionel Chaffey on returning to Corner Brook,  resumed his work with Bowater and then furthered his education at the New York State College of Forestry at the Ranger School in Wanakena, graduating in 1948. He continued with the Woods Department of Bowater until his retirement as Woods Equipment Manager. He died July 26, 2006.

James (Jim) GUPPY described as one of the pioneer residents of Gander, settled in Gander and worked as a radio electronic technician at the Department of Transport with Signals. In the 1950`s he took courses for radar maintenance, and for the rest of his career he worked with precision approach radar for landing airplanes. He passed away on May 27, 1999