C Sqdn, 9th Battn R.T.R.
My Darling: This will be my last letter prior to seeing you… and quite frankly dear, I don’t know what to say. I feel tongue-tied… if you know what I mean! There is much I could tell you about conditions here – but I prefer to tell you everything… personally… so that I can watch your face at the same time.
Tomorrow, I am handing over the orderly sergeant’s job to another fellow… and that will leave me more or less free of duty for Thursday and Friday, so giving me bags of time to get ready for my departure. It will be nice having so much time in advance – I will be able to get myself organised and, if I’m lucky, have a haircut! Yes, my hair is long and shaggy – like a poet’s: I must have it cut if poss.
It is more or less definite now that I will leave the unit on Saturday morning, and then go by rail to Hook of Holland… I believe the sea journey takes about nine hours – and Harwich is reached about 8.0am the following day.
There are special trains laid on, so I should be with you in the early evening on Sunday at the latest – but I will send you a wire as soon as I arrive at Harwich. I believe telegrams are delivered on Sundays – and can only hope that Hazel Grove is no exception!
One interesting item has appeared on orders this evening… Anyone going on U.K. leave after Aug 26th is now allowed an extra day’s leave. I don’t know the why and wherefore of this strange spasm of generosity, but I’m not arguing about it: one doesn’t question such miracles in the army.
We have just had two glorious days – and the evenings have been delicious: quite warm, with no wind, and lovely bright moonlight: it is the same tonight. It seems almost a shame to be indoors. I have spent most of this evening at a small railway station nearby – talking to a German railway official, and taking one or two photos of D.P. trains. Les Challinor has been with me: we have had a bit of fun with the DP’s on the trains: they all seem very cheerful and love to shout English phrases at us as the trains go by. One very popular phrase is “I love you”!! It seems obvious therefore that the D.P’s passing through this area have had previous contact with British Tommies: that is probably the first thing the average soldier would tell his D.P. lady love-! (Click here to see the photos of D.P. trains.)
And now I go to bed – I will soon be with you, dear one –
Very soon now –
And then I will be able to tell you how much I love you.