No. 7925934. L/Sgt. Greenwood.
‘C’ Sqdn. 9th Battn. R.T.R.
Jess dear, There has been a variation in our normal days programme today. This morning we went to a cinema to see “San Demetrio, London”. A very interesting picture… and quite a change from our normal type of ‘organised recreation’. During the latter part of the afternoon there was a cricket match – “Officers and Sergeants v. The Rest”… I was in the former team… and so I found myself on a cricket pitch for the first time in… how many years?… I shudder at the thought! Well… it was a poor game… and the ‘Rest’ won easily: they literally licked us. Maybe there will be a return match… to give us a chance to recover a little prestige. I suppose I will be as stiff as a poker tomorrow, although I hardly exerted myself.
This evening I have seen Jimmy Aldcroft and he told me that J. (Jess, Jimmy Aldcroft’s wife) is now at home, but still under the doctor. she has been advised not to travel, and not to associate with children as yet. It will no doubt be some time before you will be seeing her.
I have been re-reading your letter about Hilda’s visit. You seem particularly pleased to have seen her, and this is good news. And what a welcome change it must be to have well-behaved children in the house after D’s little imps. Needless to say, I was glad to hear of her comments about B: I am always glad to hear about him. Today’s letter, for instance, (the one you wrote on Friday) gives me more news and interesting little pictures of his progress. He certainly seems to be an entertaining little chap and I can quite understand your delight in this direction. I also share this pleasure with you, my dear.
I have been wondering what you think about today’s news of the occupation of Rome. I suppose it is a deeply significant fact in the war, and yet I cannot muster much enthusiasm. It has been a slow campaign, and the fall of Rome seemed to be inevitable weeks ago. The fulfilment of our expectations is something of an anti-climax, and not quite as thrilling, to me, as it could have been. Please don’t think I am belittling our efforts in Italy. I firmly believe that the Allies have really “shook” Jerry… especially during the last week or two. And I don’t think any of us have the lightest idea of the terrible conditions which our fellows have endured.
I don’t know what will happen about the Papacy and its divinely inspired occupant. But I guess that he will be welcomed into the Allied cause like a long lost brother. No doubt the catholic ‘apologists’ are already busily engaged preparing their proof of ‘His Holiness’s’ firm belief in democracy. I expect we shall be told before long that the Pope has been working and praying for the Allies ever since the war started. He may even agree that the war in Italy is having a civilising effect upon the country. I seem to remember that he held similar views about the Abyssinian war. I wonder, Jess, whether it is an accident that the principle European R.C. countries have either remained neutral, or opposed us, in this war. There is Italy… and Spain… and Eire… and Portugal – to say nothing of Marchal Petain and his followers! In fairness, I must state that Poland is also a R.C. country… but have the Poles, as a nation, really helped us? At the moment, it would appear that their ‘government’ in London is a liability, particularly in its attitude towards Russia. To me, the R.C. church has acted in the capacity of a “sixth column” in this war… but maybe I am prejudiced.
Good night, Jess dear.