No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood, R.T.
9th Battn. R.T.R.
Jess Darling: My principal occupation these days seems to be listening to the radio… the news bulletins in particular. The war is developing so rapidly that I hate to miss a single news-broadcast. I imagine that you too are similarly afflicted. It seems fairly certain that the war is now practically over… but it is by no means certain that fighting will cease in the immediate future… On the other hand, Himmler’s strange request for peace is significant… The Nazis obviously know that the game is up… but it would appear that they cannot stomach unconditional surrender to the Russians. But… they may think again… And peace in Europe may therefore be imminent. It is this awful uncertainty which seems to be upsetting my equilibrium. Here I am… quite safe and sound… and thinking of little else but my reunion with my Jess:- This would be a practical certainty – if peace had been declared… But as long as the war continues, there is no certainty about anything… and it is almost foolish to think about the future.
To me Jess, these conditions are almost nerve-racking. Each day is a nightmare of uncertainty… of wondering. I wonder whether my condition is indicative of cowardice… because there can be no doubt that I am afraid – afraid of the possibility of not seeing you again. This fear is no new thing, of course: it has been with me ever since we left England:- but it seems to have assumed more sinister proportions in recent weeks. It would be so terrible to have come so far without harm, only to fail at the last moment. This is pure selfishness, I know: but I can’t help being selfish in this respect, Jess… I have so much at stake.
I hope the foregoing doesn’t depress you: it must not do so… Nor must you assume that I am about to depart on some dangerous errand. I know nothing whatever about the future… But the present is pleasant enough under the circumstances:- or perhaps I should say it would be pleasant, but for my incurable anxiety about the future.
All things considered, I am very lucky, and have a lot to be thankful for… thanks to you, dear.
And now I don’t know what to talk about… I suppose I could talk about Germans… but I have had such a belly-full of them that I want to try and forget about them – and you too must be tired of reading about them in the press.
You may be surprised to hear that we are running a squadron dance tomorrow evening… but it is being held in Holland… not Germany. Non-fraternisation obviously prohibits dancing here. I will have to be present at the dance as it is my job to light up the dance-hall with our private generating plant. So I doubt whether I will be able to write tomorrow… although I may have time for a short note: we will see.
Jess… I have nothing more to say this evening – and yet, this is a lamentably short letter: I feel ashamed at my inability to write a decent letter, but I just can’t do it at present… I feel restless – and the disturbance in the mess here doesn’t help matters.
I think I had better go to bed… There I can think about you and Barry… undisturbed. These brief periods before I fall asleep each evening are perhaps the happiest of my life:- without my thoughts and dreams about you, and your letters… this would indeed be a melancholy existence… But it is far from melancholy, because of you, darling.
Good night, Jess, my love