No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood, R.T.
9th Battn. R.T.R.
Jess dear, There has been a certian amount of activity lately and I have not been able to do as much writing as I would have liked. But you will know from the short notes I have sent that I am well… and I hope therefore that you have not been worrying on my account.
At the moment, I am in a ‘rear’ area and out of touch with our postal service, but I will probably be moving on today, and am hoping to find a few letters awaiting me.
We had some more heavy rain last night but it is fine again this morning and so we are able to dry our blankets.
I have just received some mail… your letter dated Fri. 18th… and a parcel containing 1000 cigarettes – Players-! This is an overwhelming sort of parcel, Jess – and I’m sure I now have enough smokes to last me for weeks… taking into consideration our free daily issue of about 10 per man. The parcel is endorsed “from Dorothy, Kath, Jess and Toddy”… and as I have so little time for writing just now, I hope you will let them know the parcel has arrived. Please also thank them for me.
And now… how can we ask Toddy not to send any more for a while? He may feel hurt if I write and tell him. But I am perfectly serious when I say that I can now manage for some weeks… and I do not want to carry any more than I now have because of the difficulty of finding stowage room in the vehicle. I think I will leave it to you to see Toddy: I know you will explain matters suitably.
Your letter tells me of your visit to Vale Rd., and I was pleased to read that the transport problem was satisfactorily handled. Your brothers have certainly made themselves useful. It is indeed a long time since you last wrote to me from No. 27… (Jess’s childhood home) but I still have the letter-! I wonder whether you have been down to the ‘Vale’… to the wood on the left… or one or two other places we know so well. You must tell me if you have.
Mention of Mrs. Mottram reminds me of many things: it is nice to know she is still living, but I can well believe that she is now looking old. And Mrs. Byrne! Have you managed to see her? She looked an old lady fifteen years ago. I’ll bet you had difficulty in recognising her. I do hope you found her at home on your second visit. She was always very good to me and I would like her to see you and Barry. And then there is Gus… and Sid. Have they seen our nipper? I hope so. Perhaps your next letter will tell me all about your round of visits.
Your letter included one from Johnny. Please thank him for it on my behalf. I will try to write to him soon.
I heard the 1 O/c news today… and learned that the Germans have been ejected from Paris by patriots in the city. This is very good news. Apart from its political significance, it will probably spur the French people to give us their maximum of assistance. I am not quite clear just now about the general situation in this Normandy area, but I do know that Jerry is withdrawing rapidly… and we are after him.
I heard the other day that the Americans have crossed the Seine between Paris and Rouen, but have not heard much about this particular front since. Maybe they are proceeding north to form the eastern wall of another ‘pocket’. Whatever their plans, I’m sure you will agree that they have done some remarkable things in recent weeks. Their break-through at Avranches has certainly altered the whole situation over here.
You have asked me whether I have been making use of my “French” lately… And the answer is that I haven’t… until the last two days. We have seen very few civilians in recent weeks… mainly, I suppose, because they keep away from all front line activity. But I saw a few returning refugees yesterday, and more still today. They persist in shaking hands with all and sundry and greeting us with “bon jour, mes amis”. They have been fairly liberal too with their wine and cyder.
Once again I must leave you, dear. One of these days, I will surprise you by sending a worth-while letter.
Au revoir, my dear.
P.S. The enclosure with my last letter was not complete. Am sending the rest with this.