No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood.
British Army Exhibition
British Army Staff
Jessie Mine: I haven’t felt so lively today: these night guards seem to have a worse effect upon me than they used to – perhaps it is this enervating weather.
I went to bed after breakfast this morning – and managed about two hours sleep:- can’t sleep so well during the day. Have nothing exciting to report, dear. We are still here… still awaiting orders. Have ceased to wonder when we are likely to be going… but am prepared to move at an hours notice if necessary. My main worry now is that I will soon have no more of your letters to look forward to… In fact, the letter I received today, dated 26th, may be the last I will see before re-joining the 9th. But I had to warn you to cease writing here: (There is no record of this warning. There is no letter dated 23rd July. I suspect this is missing, and may have contained this warning plus details of the new address.) it was impossible to foresee how long we would remain ‘awaiting orders’ – and I left it as late as I reasonably could. Anyhow – I have the consolation of knowing that there will be some letters awaiting me when I do finally reach the 9th. I have already written asking them not to re-direct any more mail.
Your letter speaks of the election results – and of course, you guessed rightly about my amazement. Even now, I find myself wondering who is meant when the newspapers refer to the ‘prime minister’. It is hard enough to get used to Churchill’s eclipse.
I think there is a lot of truth in your ideas about the cause of the enormous swing to the left… Before the election, it was generally thought that the service vote itself may have been the deciding factor… but now it seems pretty clear that the service vote (reduced as it was) has only played a small part in the final result. I think it is probable that the bulk of the huge and unexpected majority consists of a middle class civvy vote… people who formerly voted Tory automatically, but who have now voted labour due to the influence of their husbands/sons/daughters in the services. So, as you say, the proverbial ‘ticking’ of the services may have been the initial spark towards our winning the peace.
Whatever happens, we are unquestionably on the brink of a new era in the affairs of civilisation, and it seems fitting and appropriate that we should commence with totally new ideas… and new minds. Personally, I haven’t much fear that the Labour party won’t be able to make a good show. They have some very able men, and several of them now have much valuable governmental experience. Let’s hope they don’t start squabbling and airing ‘their dirty linen in public’. Perhaps Attlee will be able to exercise more influence over his more ambitious subordinates than we think.
The general feeling amongst the troops now seems to be “Well, thank God they’re in with a good majority: now they will be able to show us what they’re made of – and they won’t be able to tick about ‘authority without power’ if they make a bugger of things: good luck to ’em”. That seems to be the gist of most of the soldiers arguments I have listened to.
Oh! There seems to be no sympathy for Grigg – the ex War Minister. But, I can’t imagine any War Minister being praised by any soldier… a case of natural enemies!!
I see our constituency returned a Tory, and judging by his majority, it doesn’t seem as though the split vote made any real difference.
I find it easier to understand a Tory being returned for Knutsford, than for towns like Stockport and Darwen – Darwen especially. And why on earth should Hulbert and Fridley be returned for Stockport? It completely baffles me – more so in the case of Fridley than Hulbert. It’s one of those mysteries…
I was glad to read that you celebrated labour’s victory, darling… and in a genuine proletarian manner too. No champagne and oysters for good socialists – No Sir! I hope you celebrate again – often – if only to have the pleasure of having a meal prepared for you… for a change.
Thank you, Jess, for all the news about Barry. It is grand to learn that he is now toddling around so well… I can understand how much more difficult it is for you to watch him now, but I’ll bet you get plenty of fun out of him… And even the incident where he put his nightie in the lav… well, it must have been damned annoying… but I did laugh – and I think you did too – secretly.
And now for bed. I should sleep like the proverbial log tonight.
Good night, darling Jess.
Always – I love you