No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood.
British Army Exhibition
British Army Staff
My Darling: This has been another of my duty days at the exhibition… and, as usual, I have been chatting with Americans until long after the official closing time. It was after 11.0 pm when I said good night to the last of them – a pilot officer in the U.S. Air Force. We discussed the tank – and England and America and other things… and he finished up by inviting me to go for a trip in his Marauder (a twin engined light bomber). He said he could easily ‘fix it’. What would you have done, Jess? I wasn’t prepared for such an offer – and hardly knew what to say. You see, I am a bit scared – but please keep it dark… I think he is coming again to see about it, but I’m sure I didn’t shew much enthusiasm.
Earlier in the evening, I was hailed by an obviously English voice, and found one of those typical English/French women sitting on a seat behind the tank. She asked where I lived in England (the usual opening question!) and when I told her, she beamed all the more. She used to live in Pendleton – and is hoping to return to England next week for the first time in about thirteen years. The usual small talk followed… but what interested me was her criticism of the French people. I had heard the same thing before, both from English residents in France, and from Frenchmen who have lived in England since escaping the Nazis after Dunkirk.
The substance of it is simply that the French have somehow become meaner and more underhanded since 1939… and they are now more lifeless and tend to take things for granted. And two people have told me that they no longer feel ‘at home’ when visiting friends houses: there is always an atmosphere of suspicion that prevents the former carefree conversation. These are not world-shattering events, but they strike me as being interesting. Just one of the legacies of Nazi-ism.
And that seems to be about all I have to say this evening. I feel damned sleepy Jess: please forgive this miserable little note.
I love you, darling