No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood, R.T.
9th Battn. R.T.R.
Jess Darling: Your letter today tells me that Aunt Ciss has now seen Barry… “Trevor’s son”. But why not “Jess’s son”? Maybe I am suspicious minded, but I can’t help feeling that her comment was in some way indicative of that strange prejudice against Jessie Whitaker which used to be so thinly veiled amongst certain members of my family. It seems rather amazing to me that people were so ready to believe whatever it was that father had against you in the past:- particularly in view of his own domestic record. Dorothy, and maybe Kath, (RTG’s sisters) are the only ones who have remained completely unaffected and loyal to both of us, although I suppose both Toddy and Marjorie (RTG’s other siblings) have by now realised that I am indeed fortunate in having been allowed to marry and love you. I have wondered whether Aunt Ciss’s remark hurt you at all, Jess. I am sure its significance would not escape you… but I imagine that such littleness on the part of a petulant old lady would leave you unaffected. I hope so, anyhow.
But I must not dwell on the old dear’s faults. After all, we know her and I think we understand her. I am glad she has seen Barry… because I am extremely proud of him, as I am of his mummy. I want everyone to know that our son has a splendid mother:- a fact which must be self-evident to everyone who sees him. I was glad to read that he was so happy during his outing: he is a grand little fellow, Jess. I’m sure Auntie must have been impressed, probably more than she admitted. I was glad to hear, too, of your resolve to go out with him more often. But don’t wait until the summer. Start right now taking advantage of the fine days as they come along, and to hell with the visitors. Please dear, don’t become a slave to the house, or a lacky for thoughtless visitors. At present you are virtually a prisoner… attending to baby on the one hand, and slaving for past and potential visitors. You must regain your freedom, my darling. It is essential for the well-being of both of you. And don’t become a slave to my letters. Your health is the most important thing on earth… please look after it, if only for the sake of Barry and I. We need you, Jessie Mine.
I am not pretending that your letters are not the most important thing in my life over here, but I should hate to think that your free time is being badly curtailed because of them. Why not try writing brief notes to me from some place in the country. You could easily stick a note pad in the pram, and write to me from some convenient log… Speaking of logs… a recent letter of yours reminded me so vividly of the past. Yes… we owe a lot to a certain log, dear one: it is so nice to recall the happy hours we spent there… often star-gazing… sometimes as miserable as sin, but often very happy, and always together. There was so much beauty in our friendship – there always has been: I believe there always will be. And now we have another little chap to share that friendship. Somehow, I feel that you don’t object to this tiny intruder: I don’t think I do either! But I wonder if his beautiful mummy has some subtle reason for introducing him to the delights of log-sitting so early in life?!
Once again, I have no special news for you, darling. Life has suddenly become very uneventful over here. Major Holden returned to the squadron this morning… he has been acting as Battalion second-in-command during Major Massey’s absence on leave. He spoke to us all about his D.S.O. and thanked us all for what we had done. As I said yesterday, he insisted on referring to it as an award for the squadron… he being the lucky man privileged to wear the medal. Nevertheless, there isn’t a man in the squadron who has more frequently defied death, or one who has had a greater responsibility: he has certainly earned the decoration.
On Sunday, we are having a sort of full-dress parade and ‘march past’ the brigadier. It is a bit of a nuisance having to prepare for these stupid functions, but it is preferable to being in the front line. We have at least the comfort of civvy billets, apart from the absence of danger. Speaking of the ‘Brig’, reminds me of a funny story told us by the colonel. It concerns the Brigadier and a major commanding one of our tank squadrons. The Brig. happened to visit some billets newly vacated by the squadron in question and found them very dirty. He sent for the major and played hell about his filthy squadron. The poor major couldn’t say a darned thing in self defence, because the evidence was too obviously that left behind by tank-men. Finally, they came to a corner of a building where there was a little pile of human excreta. “Look at that” stormed the Brig., “the place is a shit-heap”. But here the major thought he could try a little self defence: the excreta bore no infallible hall-mark. “No sir” he said “that has been done by the infantry who came after us”. “Infantry be buggered” roared the Brig., “why man, any bloody fool can see that’s an armoured turd!!!
That is the joke, my dear… but I fear that it will not really appeal to you because you will find it difficult to imagine an angry brig… and a crestfallen major. Perhaps I should add too that a “turd” is the slang expression for a human “sausage”!! I must go now dear… I may be able to write at greater length tomorrow because there is a rumour that the day will be a holiday.
Good night, my love.
Always and forever