No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood, R.T.
9th Battn. R.T.R.
Jessie Mine – I am still in close contact with this rather unreal world… a world in which there are two very different classes of society… the conquered and the conquerors. It is rather like being in a play: we are all acting, playing a part… before a somewhat unwilling audience, I fear. So far, I cannot report any unpleasant incidents: everyone seems to be reasonably docile, and the werewolves all appear to have been still-born… But, in spite of the submissive behaviour of these German civilians, we simply dare not relax our vigilance. We are in a land where treachery and violence have been applauded for years as virtues: but we are fortunately well aware of this… and prepared for the worst.
Because of prevailing conditions, our days are inclined to be irksome at times. We seem to be forever on guard duties, or curfew patrols, or bridge guarding, or apprehending civilians who disregard traffic rules etc. We are left with little rest or leisure… but I think most of us realise that we are really very lucky: we could be in far worse occupations.
You have sent me some interesting letters lately, my dear… and I’m sorry that circumstances have prevented me from answering or acknowledging them… But you can rest assured that they have been much appreciated, as always. I remember one letter in particular in which you gave me lots of details about Barry… about his understanding of words, and his ability to stand up, his interest in trains and motor cars, the incident with the fly etc. It is grand to read of his fine progress, Jessie Mine. I’m sure it must be very gratifying to you. And I can well believe how you must laugh at times by his antics. Your hand-bag, for instance… what a glorious mixture of treasures for a chap… and what a mess! I wish I could have seen him.
You mention the probability of Phyl and Ernest (Jess’ cousin Phyllis and her husband) living with us after the war… It is not a grim prospect to me, darling. It will be a pleasure to help Phyl after the many things she has done for you in recent years… But we have already discussed this subject and I know we both feel the same about it. The question about an electric cooker needs thinking about. If we can get one after the war, we will have to find somewhere to put it. Have you any ideas, Jess? Can you dispense with the coal oven, and put the electric one in its place? Or will you need both ovens?
Later Interruption: cannot say more just now, dear… but hope to have some free time tomorrow.
Good night, my darling