No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood, R.T.
9th Battn. R.T.R.
Jessie Mine, The last day of still another month-! But I do not want to talk about the calendar:- leave is the only subject I can think about just now, so let me say a few more words about it. In my last brief letter, I said I may be in England on Feby 13th… and that still holds good, but I must emphasize that it is only a “may”. Apart from the usual army “unforeseen circumstances”, there is the possibility of delayed sailings due to bad weather… And whilst these sailings are very nice indeed when they provide extra time at home, they are rather irksome to those whose departure from this side is held up.
Fortunately, at its worst, I don’t think the weather has yet caused more than 2 days delay to anyone, but I want you to be prepared for all emergencies. And I want you to bear in mind that if I am held up by the weather, I will not be able to let you know because telegrams from this side are not permitted. What we are permitted to do is to send priority telegrams as soon as we reach England… and that I will do, of course. I believe these telegrams are limited to about three words… which hardly gives much scope. If therefore you receive a wire reading say “Harwich, Edgeley tonight”, you will know that I have reached Harwich and am travelling by the train which reaches Edgeley at 6 something p.m. (the one I told you about). But if I land at Dover… well, I cannot be so definite… All I can tell you is that one of my colleagues went by the Dover route (he landed at Folkestone, actually) and that he reached London in time to travel by a train which (he says) left Euston at 9.15 pm. Now this train is unknown to me. There used to be one at 8.45 pm, arriving Edgeley about 1.30 am. Maybe this train is now running half an hour later… or it may be an extra: I cannot say. I can assure you though dear Jess that I will be with you as soon as ever possible. This is horribly vague I know, but I cannot get any more definite information at the moment.
But here is a point, Jess… the bloke who landed at Folkestone (he lives in Oldham) was the first to go from this unit… about Jan 2nd: and since then, Les Challinor (who lives in Swinton) has been home and returned, and he went via Harwich… and he says that he believes all the blokes for the Manchester area now go via Harwich. I do hope he is right – It is so much nicer arriving home in the early evening, instead of the small hours of the morning.
Jess… I fear this uncertainty about the actual day of my homecoming is going to cause you some horrible anxiety. But please don’t be worried, darling. If you don’t receive my wire on the 13th or 14th or 15th… it will not mean that I have suddenly been rushed into some ruddy battle-front:- but rather that the transit arrangements have been disorganised probably by the weather. Is that clear Jess? I can’t ask you not to be anxious about my homecoming… but try and let it be the pleasant variety: don’t be apprehensive.
About letters… I suggest you post your last letter to me about the 8th or 9th of Feb… But if you prefer to continue writing later, I will not mind in the least bit because it is always nice to read one or two letters when one returns from leave… And that is all I can say just now about leave. If any more information crops up, I will let you know.
We held our squadron dance last evening… and it went fairly well. I didn’t see much of the actual dancing because most of my time was spent in a basement serving beer and gin and cognac to the officers and sergeants… and I was kept pretty busy as you can imagine. But I had three assistants, so it was easy enough. Needless to say, there were some ‘fat’ heads this morning.
The weather has changed suddenly today. It has become much warmer and a fairly heavy shower has washed away much of the snow. I don’t mind the rain… for a change… It is rather welcome after the last few weeks of freezing weather.
There was a failure of the electric light supply… a fairly common occurrence over here… and I couldn’t continue. It has just come on again… too late for me to continue.
Must leave you now, dear, for bed.
Will be writing again tomorrow.
Good-night, my love
P.S. I hope you still love me… in spite of Charlotte-!