Alvan Boyden papers  1806-1828
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection (0.5 linear feet) contains correspondence, photographs, and printed items pertaining to Lillian G. Ostrand, who was a United States Army nurse with the 123rd General Hospital in England from 1944-1945. Other items pertain to her father, Andrew Ostrand, and to a fellow member of the 123rd General Hospital, Thomas J. Glennon.

The Correspondence series (87 items) is divided into two subseries, each arranged chronologically: Manuscript Letters (July 16, 1944-July 29, 1945) and V-Mail Letters (July 30, 1944-August 1, 1945). Lillian G. Ostrand regularly wrote to her parents and brother in Crystal Falls, Michigan, about her service in England with the 123rd General Hospital. After writing about her transatlantic journey, she described many aspects of wartime life in England, such as high prices, blackouts, and travel by bicycle and rail. At the same time, she kept up-to-date with events in the U.S. and wrote about issues such as the 1944 presidential election (October 29, 1944, and November 9, 1944), war bonds (December 11, 1944), and President Roosevelt's death (April 14 and 16, 1945). While in Britain, Ostrand traveled to towns in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. She visited Stratford-upon-Avon multiple times to watch Shakespeare plays and frequently mentioned seeing films and other musical and theatrical performances. Additionally, she commented on changing personnel at the 123rd General Hospital, particularly after V-E Day, and remarked about some of her patients and acquaintances, such as a British intelligence officer who had shown her confiscated letters by Adolf Hitler (July 12, 1945). By August 1945, Ostrand anticipated returning home.

Andrew Ostrand, Lillian's father, kept a Swedish-language Diary (159 pages) about his life in Chicago, Illinois, and in Michigan's Upper Peninsula from April 1, 1906-October 16, 1914. Most entries are from 1906 and 1907.

The Photographs series has 6 items:

  • A panoramic group photograph of the personnel of the 123rd General Hospital, taken at Camp Ellis, Illinois, in July 1944
  • 2 black-and-white photographs of buildings from the 156th General Hospital
  • A formal portrait of Lillian G. Ostrand in uniform
  • A black-and-white photograph of Hereford Cathedral, pasted onto a cardboard frame
  • A color photograph of a plaque commemorating the 123rd General Hospital

Printed Items and Ephemera (6 items) include a document with "Information for Members of the Army Nurse Corps Preparing for Foreign Duty"; menus for the 123rd General Hospital's Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners in 1944; newspaper clippings about V-E Day and about Major Marion S. Clift, who served with Lillian G. Ostrand in England; and a copy of the Yank army weekly (May 18, 1945).

The Thomas J. Glennon Memoir (91 pages) concerns Glennon's military experiences during World War II. He served with the 123rd General Hospital at Camp Ellis, Illinois, and in England, and his memoir provides detailed information about the hospital's work and life in wartime England.

Perspectives on World War II is a 74-page bound collection of reminiscences about World War II. These stories were collected for a series of lectures for the "Living in Retirement" program at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, held on May 8, 1995. Lillian G. Ostrand contributed a brief personal narrative about her wartime experiences.

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