No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood, R.T.
9th Battn. R.T.R.
Jessie Mine – I returned to the unit last evening… and sure enough there was some mail for me… three letters and two M/c Guardians from Jess. And there were two snaps of our little Barry… such a happy surprise for me, darling.
I agree that the snaps could be better, but even so I can see that our wee Poppet has altered a lot since I saw him. He is fatter and much more like a little personality. And how lovely to have a picture of Jess as well. It is only a rear side view, but it tells me a lot. It is the first picture of Jess and Barry and I treasure it. You have made me want more pictures: I do so want a good picture of you and Barry. Will you have one taken, Jess dear? Please, darling… please go to a photographers with the little fellow: I’m sure he is old enough now: But it must be a picture of both of you.
I was glad to hear of Jess Aldcroft’s visit. Jimmy must have had a terrible time, but it is good to know that he is progressing favourably. I will pass the news on to his colleagues. The other day I met a chap named Mansell who was the gunner in Jimmy’s tank at the time. He was burned less severely than Jimmy and has just returned from England quite fit again. I hadn’t time to hear the full story, but I gathered that Mansell returned to the burning vehicle and helped Jimmy out. I will make it my business to see this chappie again as soon as possible and will send you the full story: Jess Aldcroft may like to hear it.
You do seem to have had a deluge of visitors in a short time, Jess… Stan and Dora, Wilf Hudson, your mum and the boys… It must have caused you much work my dear. But I like to hear of people visiting you: this is much better than being isolated from all human contact, as it were. (…)
I seem to have let myself in for something with Johnny’s wireless worries. He has now sent me a further diagram… and it would take an awful time to deal with his queries satisfactorily… so once again I must enlist your aid. I know I invited his problems in an earlier letter, but I didn’t then anticipate this frantic rushing about after Jerries. So will you please explain matters to him, dear… I would very much like to help him… but I cannot deal with wireless problems and write to my love at the same time… And you know which is the more important. I will keep his letter and diagram, and will write to him if/when we have time to enjoy a little peace and quietness.
Jessie Mine… when I came here last evening, I was feeling terribly depressed and weary, but after receiving your letters, and reading about your activities… and seeing the pictures of little Poppet, I felt totally different. Life seemed once again worth while, and my worries seemed trivial by comparison with all the nice things that lay in store for me. This is by no means the first time that your letters have brought me happiness and relief from depression. But I want you to know how you help me: I want you to know too that I am deeply grateful for your constant consideration. Letter writing is not always easy for you, but you hardly ever miss a single day without saying something to me. I think you can justly claim to have prevented at least one soldier from going dotty.
You paint a sweet little verbal picture of the time when we are together again. Such things are constantly in my thoughts, dear. And I too often wonder whether we will be speechless. Somehow, I always picture you waiting for me on Edgeley station… as you have done in the past. But I don’t know whether this can happen because we now have little Poppet to think about. Maybe you will solve this problem… and maybe we will walk home… with our thoughts… in silence… but happy… oh, so happy. These are lovely dreams, dear one. I couldn’t have them were it not for you.
I don’t think you need ask me for permission to bully me. I will submit to anything at your hands, dear: any mortal thing… including as many vitamins as you like. As for sleep! Just you wait: I’ll show you what laziness really means…
You mention Mrs. Wright… but I’m afraid she would have no news for you. I think it must be a month since I saw Noel. As you know, he went to hospital some weeks ago with skin trouble, and since then he has been employed on a rear echelon… not with the tanks. But I believe he will be coming forward again soon. I will let you know when I see him. (…)
I like your little reminder about Poppet. I hadn’t forgotten that his existence is due to much inconvenience and sacrifice on your part… but the reminder has done me no harm. One of these days, I hope to demonstrate how really grateful I am for all you have endured… both for Poppet’s sake and mine…
And now I must leave you, darling. I’m sorry this letter contains little news of my activities… but I have done little enough during the past week, apart from transferring myself from one place to another.
Au revoir, dear Jess…
Thanks again for the snaps… and don’t forget to send more… as soon as poss.
Always – in love