No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood, R.T.
9th Battn. R.T.R.
Jessie Mine: I have been writing to Mr. Cornelese and am very relieved to have got the letter off my conscience. It is something of a problem trying to convey news in simple English. I am enclosing his last two letters, including a note from Thea about a doll for Barry. (Click here to see the letter from Mr. Cornelese and note from Thea dated 6/5/45.)
And now – what can I say to my own little lady? Firstly – this is another of my lucky days: there were two letters for me again, and both dated Wed. 30.5.45. Now what do you know about that! I call it a grand habit… and being greedy, I don’t mind if it happens often – every day even! You will gather that I like receiving your letters… and you will be dead right. I like to feel them: I like to see those precious little white packets with that dear handwriting… And the thrill of opening them… Ah Jess, you surely have done something to me: even now… after all this practice… my hand often trembles as I open your letters… and my heart always misses a beat as I read your first greeting. Why this should be so, I cannot say… Something tells me I may be in love – just a little – perhaps!
You tell me that Mr. P. has returned the radio… and that it is working – er – indifferently. Well, that is not so good, but better than nothing, isn’t it dear. I hope it survives until my next homecoming at least, then we will have another glimpse at its works and see what’s what.
And now, what about this latest ‘cold’ you have acquired. Is it my turn to reprimand you about your food, and especially vitamins? I have a suspicion that you are tending to neglect yourself on account of Barry and this will never do. I have told you before that your welfare is terribly important: you must remember that it is the most important thing in the world to all three of us: this is true, Jess. So what are we going to do? I will tell you – I am going to issue an order and you are going to obey it -see! You will do no more painting… because your present cold has been caused by paint fumes. You may not know it, my dear, but most people suffer from colds after painting: it is just one of those things. Normally, it would not matter a great deal, but now, with God knows how much work and worry on your mind, and a baby into the bargain – No! it won’t do. Please Jess – my sweetheart – don’t do any more of these heavy jobs: they are for husbands. Try not to worry about the house: it is you I am coming home to… the house is only a necessary evil. Do I make myself clear?
There are occasions in this mess when I wonder whether I am in a mad-house. The din is simply indescribable. At the moment, we are just working up to a minor bedlam. There is a darts match in progress… and the players have been slightly oiled by liquor. Some of the arguments are very funny really but it is a hell of a job trying to write… Even so, I suppose it is better to be disturbed by these ‘happy’ noises than the unpleasant ones we used to endure… God! Those artillery barrages in Normandy. It seems incredible that we could have survived the noise alone. And yet – here I am – in comparative peace and safety… secure in the knowledge that I am going to see my love again. Have I been complaining about a few noisy dart-throwing sergeants? I ought to be ashamed of myself.
We do have some arguments these days Jess… friendly ones, I mean. And nine times out of ten the subject is non-fraternisation. It is a thorny subject… and everyone seems to have different ideas about it. But I remain convinced that non-fraternisation cannot last… And if the official order is not rescinded soon, we will just be making fools of ourselves by trying to enforce it. And by this, I don’t want you to think that I am against the non-fraternisation in principle… I base my opinion on human behaviour, and particularly that of soldiers. What is your opinion about this business, Jessie Mine? I can’t recall any mention of it in your letters.
I am on guard tomorrow at the hospital… but this time it will only be for 24 hours – quite long enough! I will certainly write to you whilst I am there.
Jess… that’s all for now. Please look after that cold and promise that you will be a good girl and obey my orders!
Good night, Darling Jess