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A World War II Love Story
It All Happened in Belgium
A love story that could be a mini-series. I loved my Mother and Father and I know they loved each other. I also love this story and other than my family, not too many others know it and I think they should. The romance that started in Belgium during World War II, carried on for many years and ended with...well...me.
It is a real story and the names have NOT been changed to protect the innocent.
I hope you enjoy this love story and feel free to contact me, especially for a screenplay!
Photos from this website are from my family albums, unless otherwise cited.
Anything Could Have Stopped This From Happening
The Chance of Love that Caused Me to Exist!
This love story begins in Ohio. My Father, Charles C. Villars was a farm boy who was drafted to be in the U.S. Army and ended up going to Texas. Prior to him being drafted and what he did in the military, are other stories that I will tell later.
My Father, ended up in the 147th Combat Engineer Battalion. This battalion started in the USA and went from Galveston, Texas to England. They prepped and readied themselves for some sort of a battle in France, although they didn't know exactly what. They couldn't be told because of the secrecy of what was about to happen.
On June 6, 1944 they embarked from England to France and landed on Omaha Beach. It wasn't an easy trip and wasn't an especially pleasant landing with all of the fire from the Germans on the cliffs. Many of my Father's comrades died and he survived.
His unit moved through France and into Belgium to help liberate these German-occupied countries. That is where he met my Mother. The rest of the story is below and I hope you enjoy it as much as I love it.
1940s Swing Music - Glenn Miller and "In The Mood" - Soundtrack to put you in the mood for this romantic love story
Esneux, Belgium - A Photo I Took Many Years Ago While Visiting Relatives - Note the16th Century Architecture
D-Day was now over and on or around July in 1944, the Allies went through France and started liberating Western Europe. After crossing France, Esneux Belgium was the scene of the Allies fighting or traveling through during World War II.
Esneux was occupied by Germany since 1940. My Mother, who was 21 at the time of the German occupation due to the German "Blitzkreig" and subsequent Belgium surrender, told me many stories of the occupation. One of these was the smuggling of bread and food into the house because if they were caught by the Germans, they would lose the food and could be raped or executed. She was lucky she was Catholic because the Jews were sent to concentration camps and anti-Jewish laws were enacted by the Germans.
The German occupation ended in Belgium in 1944, the same year that my Father met my Mother in Esneux.
Imagine being occupied and ruled by another country and the oppression that took place while this occupation was in effect. In addition to the hellish 4 years from 1940-1944 that my mother had to endure, the country had just been released from another 4 year German occupation from 1914-1918, just 3 years before my Mother was born. My Grandmother had to endure both occupations. It is no wonder she moved to the USA with my Mother and my Father!
Single Track Mountain Biking in Esneux, Belgium - This is a crazy video!
Charles C. Villars and Yvonne Maria Herminie Josephine Guillane Olette - As they looked when they met
My Father was about 26 in this photo. It was taken while he was still in the United States and had not yet left for Europe. He was a Private E-2 in this photo and he talked about the photo with his "Mosquito Wings", in other words, his Private Stripes.
This is one of my Mother's earlier photos from my album. In this photo, she is wearing a coat made completely from an Army blanket, no doubt given to her by my Father. She inscribes her love to him on the bottom right corner.
My Father, was already married when he went over for D-Day but his wife in the United States had numerous indiscretions so his plans to divorce her upon his return were already made.
When my Father met my Mother in Esneux, Belgium, he could not marry her because he was already married. He finished his tour in Europe, keeping in contact with my mother through letters and then left back for the States by ship to get divorced. Upon his divorce, he immediately embarked back to Europe to marry my Mother.
My Grandparents no doubt thought he was crazy but his love drove him back to her. I am glad, or I wouldn't be here today! Both of these trips by sea were lengthy and the marriage was held in Esneux Belgium in 1946.
My Mother, did not know ANY English and came to the USA with him with love in her heart and they made a life here.
"A kiss is a rosy dot over the 'i' of loving."
Cyrano de Bergerac
If My Mother Were Alive, She Would Recycle Clothing - And she would love this book!
My Mother, who learned to sew from my Grandmother, would've loved this book. As you can see from one of her photos, she made a coat out of an Army blanket. You can't get more imaginative than that and during World War II, recycling was very big in Europe since it was hard to buy new things. Take a look at this book and chalk one up to my Mother's ingenuity. Thanks for looking!
The First Home that my Parents Owned - Talk about meager beginnings!
This was the first house that my Father and Mother owned. It was converted from a one-car garage into a small house.
It was not a house of convenience but it was surely full of love!.
"A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love."
The German Occupation of Belgium
My Father and Mother on the Farm - Raising chickens in Ohio
Although many things were different for my Mother, she learned quickly. The farm life was not unfamiliar to her and they raised farm animals and made a living. She quickly learned English and adapted.
I remember her telling me once that she almost went back to Belgium because although she could cook, my Grandmother on my Father's side, gave her a hard time because she couldn't cook like an American cooked. Her love for my Father kept her here.
"Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives."
C. S. Lewis
My Grandmother Arrives - No, she was not a Beagle
My Grandmother on my Mother's side of the family came to the USA after a few years. Part of her coming to the USA was probably due to the fact that she was tired of German occupation of Belgium.
This is a photo of my Mother on the ground with their favorite Beagle named Gypsy and my Grandmother's legs.
What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
My Mother and Father at My Graduation - Wilmington, Ohio
Although this is many years later, this is a photo of my Mother and Father with me after my High School graduation. They had two children, my Sister and I and we were the products of older parents. My Sister was born 12 years after they were married and I was born 15 years later.
"Come live in my heart, and pay no rent."
More Love Arrives! - Grandma and Grandpa and Their First Grandchild
My Mother and Father and my daughter, Shanon, the first grandchild.
1940's Nostalgic Décor Items - Items to take you back to Pre-Lucy days!
My Father, Charles C. Villars - Shortly before his death in 1987
The love of my Mother's life. Things were never the same for her after his death.
My Mother, Yvonne M. Villars - Shortly before her death in 1999.
I still miss her and love her. My Mother was a great person. She survived World War II, moved to a country that she didn't know and a language she couldn't speak, earned a Bachelor's and Master's Degree and retired from teaching High School in the Public School System.