No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood.
‘C’ Sqdn, 9th Battn RTR,
Jessie Mine: I have had a less hectic day today… owing to the departure of the bulk of the squadron to the P.O.W. camp. This camp is about four miles from our billet area, and each squadron of the battalion does a forty-eight hour shift there in turn. We took over this morning… and so most of the fellows are temporarily under canvas – dealing with the Jerries. Meanwhile, the billet area is very quiet – there being only about two dozen of us left here in Gümmer.
I was jolly glad to receive two of your letters today – the first since the day I returned from Paris. It is lovely to read your accounts of Barry: he seems to be progressing remarkably well, and I really am looking forward to seeing him. If you arouse my interest much more, I may even be more anxious to see him than his dear mummy – perhaps!
Your little story about Barry’s introduction to the moon was a treat: it is so easy for me to visualise you explaining such mysteries… and his little head snuggling against your cheek…
There was much of interest in your earlier letters… the batch I received on my return from Paris – but I don’t seem to have had time to acknowledge them properly. It was amusing to read of your handling of Gwen Roberts during the visit of the other Roberts’. She must be very rude or very selfish to interrupt so frequently whilst others are listening to music. And your reference to Delius being “obviously a second rater”! Gosh, I’ll bet that shook her. Do you know, Jess, your reports of Gwen and her husband lead me to the conclusion that they are musical snobs – especially Gwen. It would almost appear that she doesn’t really enjoy music – otherwise how could she be so indifferent to the many lovely things you have played in her presence? But she certainly seems to like talking – and it is fashionable in certain ‘intellectual’ quarters to decry anything but the modern or unusual. I imagine that Gwen’s tastes, and conversation, are influenced to a large extent by her husband. She seems to be the type who can be very tiresome. But you tell me that she always appears to be depressed when her husband is on leave. Is this significant: is there another unhappy couple within our acquaintance? She certainly spends a fair amount of time with you, and it looks as though she may be craving some sort of companionship.
I enjoyed the extract from Klein’s book, mainly I suppose because it was a reflection of my own impressions of modern music… but I shouldn’t repeat it to Gwen if I were you – not yet anyhow. It may come in handy later as a ‘weapon’ if she and her husband become too tiresome!
I gather that Bill Gilbert’s visit was a refreshing change for you – after having endured the boys, Gwen, and Mrs Wright and others for so long. You must get sick of these tiresome people: perhaps they will cease to call when I am at home – which will be one advantage of my homecoming. How would you like to visit the P.T. (Public Trustee) office with Barry when I come home? I’m sure most of the staff would be pleased to see you – even your former enemy, the Caddow. And I don’t think you would be averse to showing off our little son. Will you think about it, Jessie Mine?
Do you know dear, one of these days you may find me calling you my “blond bombshell”. The things you spring upon me! And absolutely without warning!! This time it is egg-cups… Yes, mere little egg cups:- but no… not ordinary egg-cups: you want the home-made variety: you want to make them yourself. They’re easy to make, I know: all you need is a lathe (yes! your spelling was correct) and to drive the lathe, you require a small electric motor: and you only require a bench for the lathe – and a workshop for the bench… And when you’ve got that lot (and a few other incidentals) you can start turning out egg-cups by the million… and salad bowls… and fruit bowls… and wooden legs… and any other darned thing you like…
Gosh Jess:- it is refreshing to have a wife with ideas: a wife with an adventurous mind – and no-one appreciates it more than I… but… for Heaven’s sake try to make any future shattering ideas a little less shattering to the peace of mind of a poor little husband… Perhaps we will have a lathe one day… but before that day dawns, I’m coming home… and I’m coming home to enjoy the company of a sweet and lovely lady… not a bloody amazon sweating her guts out over a lathe in order to provide mankind with egg-cups by the million. God! egg-cups! egg-cups… What about making a few atomic bombs?? Yes, you are my beautiful blond bombshell… And I know I’m going to hear plenty more about this subject when I come home.
This leave business seems to be worrying both of us: I know it has completely upset my equilibrium. But it won’t be long now, dear. I note that you propose to lock me up somewhere, away from all visitors and relatives… And I think it’s a grand idea… providing your hiding place will accommodate two of us… or rather, two and a bit of us!
Jess – I want you darling…
It hurts me too – this unending separation.
Come quickly next week…