No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood, R.T.
9th Battn. R.T.R.
Jess darling, I have just received a letter from ‘Bill’ Geary. He is now in Preston Royal Infirmary, and appears to be recovering quite well… after a minor operation on his arm. He tells me that he has already been home for a day, so he must be almost fit again. My principle reason for mentioning him is because he has now suggested calling upon you in the near future, with his young lady, Ruth. You will probably remember having met her on Victoria station. I have replied telling him that you will be pleased to see them both… but to send a P/c in advance. I have asked him to go along for tea if possible… and I hope you will forgive my presumption. Bill and I went into one or two battles together and he will perhaps be able to give you an idea of conditions over here. In many ways, I am sorry he has gone. For a start, he was one of the ‘older’ men… of whom we now have very few left. His behaviour over here has been excellent, especially as a member of a tank crew. He has proved himself absolutely fearless too… a tremendous help under these conditions. At times, he was very humorous… a rather dry sort of humour which amused me a lot. Perhaps I will see him in England one of these days… Meanwhile… I envy him… He is going to meet the loveliest little lady in the world… And don’t forget to display our little Popett!
I have practically no news for you from here, my darling. We are once again having an easy time after a hurried move yesterday, but the war seems to have left us a long, long way behind. The local people, in fact, seem to regard the war as being over… they are no longer bothered by it… not even the distant sound of guns!
In one or two of your recent letters, you have passed comment about my probable whereabouts. And… as usual… your ‘hunches’ have been absolutely correct. In some ways, we seem to have been used as a sort of battering ram against stubborn Germans. But the enemy’s entire war edifice appears to have toppled lately, and we have consequently been rather ‘out of the picture’… and still are.
What the immediate future holds in store I cannot say… but I am terribly excited. After all, the war is bound to finish some day… and at present it looks as though that day isn’t very far off. I have a good idea how you are feeling about the present situation… and is is easy for me to imagine you listening to all and every news bulletin over the wireless. I am just the same. We are able to pick up both ‘Home’ and ‘Overseas’ news bulletins (also the Forces programme) and I listen to as many as possible. I usually act as a sort of human newsvendor over here… everyone seems to expect me to know the latest news, and I have to repeat the bulletins several times on occasions.
Finland now appears to be on the way out, but I have no time for them. I hope the Russians use plain language to their peace delegates. Did you hear the Russian denouncement of Turkey, two or three days ago? The latter are still harbouring hundreds of the German diplomatic staff… even allowing Military, naval, and Air attaches to remain open. The Russians pointed out pretty plainly that every German ought to have been out of Turkey by August 10th. Presumably, the Russian attack is justified… so why hasn’t Britain made a protest? It beats me. In fact, Turkey’s entire behaviour in this war carries something of a foul smell… as does that of Portugal, our so-called traditional ally. But we mustn’t worry about these things just now. Let us enjoy the good news of Allied progress whilst we can.
Later. I like the news of your activity in the garden, my dear. You seem to be tackling the job, and your assistant, with some gusto. I am looking forward to a complete transformation when I come home. But I mustn’t expect too much. It would require a battery of ‘bulldozers’ to put our garden right in a few short weeks. I couldn’t help wondering whether you may not be overdoing matters when you said you were digging the soil with the fork. This is heavy work… and is not really meant for mothers of wee babies. But I presume you are tackling the job in a commonsense way. Please don’t overdo it, Jess.
Thank you for the latest news about Barry. I can hardly believe that he is now over twenty two weeks old. I think I told someone the other day that he was eighteen weeks old! He will be a real lively little personality when I see him.- Gosh! I am looking forward to that day. I see that he will soon be having sieved vegetables… among other things. I will bring home some tins of M & V: (meat and veg.) I’ll bet he will love it! (…)
For some time past, I have been receiving regular copies of the M/c Guardian… and I thought that you were sending them. But on a recent copy, there was some pencil scrawl which looked like ‘Singleton’. It therefore seems probable that they are being sent by Kath. (R.T.G’s youngest sister). Perhaps you will confirm this next time you see her. I much appreciate these papers because, even though a week old, the reviews and editorials are always worth reading. Normal daily papers, by the way, are reaching us quite regularly. We often get them a day late, sometimes two days late. But in the rear… on ‘B’ echelon, for instance, they get them on the day of publication, usually in the evening. They are flown across from England.
Must go now, dear –
Always… Your Trevy.
P.S. If Plowman is at home, I suggest you invite him, and his wife, over to 29. He has often spoken of visiting you… but perhaps he is awaiting an official invitation from you. Am sure he will be interested in any news you can give him about the 9th.