No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood, R.T.
9th Battn. R.T.R.
My Darling: A letter for me today, thank goodness: I hadn’t heard from you for two or three days… and I don’t like not hearing from my sweetheart! (…)
You have had more visitors… this time your Auntie Eth and others… You don’t say much about their visit… and by that I mean you don’t tell me what they said about you darling. They were all pleased to see you… that I know… and they were pleased to see Barry… that is natural… Did your auntie Eth say anything about visiting her? Perhaps we won’t go now, after all. Olive’s intentions seem to complicate matters, don’t they. In any case, this damned war isn’t over yet… so it is a bit premature to start worrying about our second honeymoon: or will it be our first? But what’s in a name? Our whole married life together has been a honeymoon to me.
I suppose Wilf’s visit was a surprise to you… and I’ll bet his generosity was a sight bigger surprise! But no doubt he got full value in ciggys… and maybe a supper… And that is a very mean thing to say… but he is a parsimonious bugger, Jess: I would feel so much happier about him if he were more generous.
This has been another uneventful day:- the only outstanding item being a bath-! Yes, for the second time on this continent, I have been able to wash myself in a genuine civilised bath, complete with hot water. It was a very nice experience.
I told you the other day about the convoys of German prisoners which regularly pass our front window here, but I didn’t mention the other kind of convoy… and one passed by a little while ago. Before it came into sight, I could here a tuneless trumpet blaring forth… obviously being played by some carefree soul… And then the lorries appeared and we beheld the usual mass of human beings, dressed in all kinds of weird and wonderful clothes:- They were liberated slave workers… heading towards Holland… and home, no doubt. It is grand to see these people, Jess. Firstly because there is something delightfully infectious about happy human beings en masse… And it is very gratifying to feel that our little efforts have, in some way, helped to produce such happiness. To me, it is a little compensation for what I have had to endure… for what we have both had to endure. I only wish you too could see some of these convoys, Jessie Mine… For you too, have done your bit towards making them possible. It is the women of Britain, as well as the men, who have won this war… with our Allies, of course. But there is another side to these convoys of men. They help to keep us reminded of the fiends who enslaved them: it is so easy to forget – especially when you are living amongst them and finding them apparently normal… to look at…
This morning we had another example of those little problems about which it is hard to decide between right and wrong. I saw a small group of our fellows apparently enjoying a friendly conversation with two male civilians, the latter with bicycles. They were all laughing and talking… and the ‘non-fraternisation’ order seemed to have gone by the board. I found, however, that the civvies were actually Dutchmen, and not freed slave workers either. They had ridden into Germany earlier in the day… in search of… well, whatever they could find, especially food. And now they were en route for home… with a rich haul of eggs-! How they came by them is nobody’s business. They were quite open about their activities… and seemed happy to be able to play out the Bosch in his own coin. Now… I suppose this sort of thing is wrong: but… who are we to judge? I have seen a lot of Holland – and I know something of their awful plight. I couldn’t blame those men: but I couldn’t help admiring their courage in venturing unarmed, into this land of beasts and treachery.
Jess – my love – once again I must bid you good night. I have said it so often in letters… far too often… Perhaps the day is not far distant when I will be able to say it with you:- when we will no longer have to bear this awful separation.
Darling… I love you… so much.