No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood, R.T.
9th Battn. R.T.R.
Jess Darling, I received your parcel yesterday:- the one containing the lighter, saccharine, Oxo etc… and I want to thank you for it. I was especially pleased to see the lighter… your lighter… I hope to keep it forever, my darling. It is much more than a useful little implement… And how like my sweetheart to think of including some lumps of cotton wool! I hope to be home before I need use it-!
I was glad to hear that you have managed to take two ‘snaps’ of ‘Poppet’. I am longing to see them. Please send me copies… even though he may not be ‘looking his best’. They are bound to give me some idea of his features. I can still remember him as I last saw him… and that is how I always imagine him… but I know he must have altered a good deal. The ‘snaps’ will probably help me to decide whether he looks as intelligent as most people think… even though they may not be flattering.
What about you and Barry being photographed together? Have you considered it? Many of our fellows have “Polyfotos” of their wives and little babies… and I too would love one. I know it is out of the question for you to take him to M/c… but could you have them done nearer home? Or is he still too young? Perhaps I will have to be content with the ‘snaps’ of Barry, but I would like more pictures of his beautiful mummy. Perhaps I will be lucky some day…
Jess – that was good news about little Barry’s first dinner. And what a dinner! You have everything planned out, haven’t you… even to half a teaspoonful of carrot juice! I only hope your perspective hasn’t become distorted by these baby meals… otherwise it is going to be a poor look-out for a hungry husband. And yet… I don’t think I will care very much how you feed me… so long as we can be together again. It is even possible that I will prefer being spoon-fed providing your hand holds the spoon… Barry is a lucky little chap, isn’t he…
Did you go to M/c the other day, my dear? And did you visit Deansgate? And dare I hope that you were tempted to go into Forsyth’s… and buy some gram. records? I hope so… All our most recent records have been chosen by you… and all have been grand. I don’t see why Ah Perfido should be any exception… especially with K. F. (Kathleen Ferrier) singing it. Perhaps your next letter will tell me all about your trip to town and the things you have bought… Yes?
At the moment I am sitting in the cab of a lorry… still officially resting… and there are no tanks in the locality. In fact, I don’t even know precisely where they are! Noel Wright turned up here yesterday, and he is still here… presumably for the same reason that I am here. Just now, he is sitting on the step of this lorry – just at the side of me – watching some fellows playing cards. Noel is only a spectator. He seems well enough, but I haven’t had much conversation with him… He is more interested in the card game. I asked him just now whether he would like me to send a message to his wife… But he has just written home, so there is no message.
It is very dull here today… and we have had some light showers. This is a great contrast with yesterday… a boiling hot summer’s day with brilliant sunshine. This echelon is like a nudist camp in one respect. Many of the ‘staff’ here seem to wander about almost naked during the day. Some wear nothing but short pants – the gym variety: others wear trousers, but are bare from the waist. Their skins are literally burned brown with the sun. They have been able to ‘sun-bathe’ every time we have had decent weather… and that means pretty often during the last week or two. They are very lucky people-!
I am not quite up-to-date with my knowledge of the activities of the tank crews, but as far as I know, they are still performing a sort of non-active operational role… and keeping up with Jerry’s withdrawals. The ‘front’ seems to be shifting very rapidly nowadays… and it is my belief that we have seen the end of the ding-dong battles of recent weeks… for a time at any rate.
The country in which our first battles were fought was terrible from our point of view. It wasn’t tank country at all, as you have no doubt read in the newspapers. But now that we are gaining more space, it will probably be possible for us to choose where we will operate with tanks… especially our type. This should be much “healthier” for us.
In yesterday’s letter, I told you something about our first action… and I intended saying more today about some of our subsequent activities, but my letter writing has not proceeded so smoothly as yesterday and my efforts have been frustrated. Perhaps I will have better luck tomorrow: we will see.
Later. Monday evening.
The interruption this time was a big one… and it landed me back on my own vehicle after a rather hair-raising night ride through a heavily “mined” countryside. I have little time for more at present, my dear… and I have now lost all semblance of continuity with this letter. Must send it away this evening whilst I have a chance.
Am very well… and have today had a good rest in beautiful hot sunny weather.
Au revoir, my love