No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood, R.T.
9th Battn. R.T.R.
Jessie Mine – There was a letter for me today… I knew there would be. But I didn’t know that one of my recent letters would make you feel ashamed. That will never do: I must say something! Now listen: I know that you will always write to me when you are able to do so: And I know that you write to me practically every day… often at great inconvenience to yourself: I don’t think there can be a soldier in the entire army who has been served so faithfully in this respect than I… But now, conditions are different. Your spare time is much more restricted because you have Barry, and because he is daily making greater demands upon your time. Another thing… my need for your letters is not as great now as when we were fighting. And by this I do not mean that I don’t want to hear from you daily: in actual fact, I want several letters a day: my appetite for news from you, about you, is insatiable… but that is simply because I am terribly greedy… and terribly in love: I cannot put forward a logical need for daily letters: I cannot even say that I need your inspiration to help me in action – because there is no action: on the contrary, my life is now almost entirely about inaction. So why should you worry yourself stiff, and feel ‘ashamed’ because you are forced to allow an occasional day to pass without writing to me? It doesn’t make sense. I can see what is happening, Jess… you are forcing yourself to write to me… often in the small hours of the morning… just to avoid causing me disappointment.
Darling… I do appreciate what you do for me: your kindness and great goodness to me are amongst my most exquisite memories… But… the time has come when you must think a little more about yourself. You must not allow letter writing to become a task: you must not neglect yourself by losing sleep on my account: you must not be constantly dashing off to the post in all weathers just to oblige me… And you must not worry and think you are neglecting me… If you never wrote me another letter, you could not be guilty of neglect. Please do not reproach yourself, dear Jess. I understand how you are placed… and I know you have more important things to do than write letters. Just write to me when you can: that is all I ask. And when you write, just carry on telling me about you, and about Barry… nothing else really matters.
You have told me something about him in today’s letter… about him tasting his wees and apparently liking it!! That’s a good sign: little boys are like that if they are normal – mischievous and dirty, usually very dirty. I think he is doing fine, don’t you?
I laughed at your ‘picture’ of Nicholas squawking on the mat… and getting on your nerves as well as Gwen’s. I suppose I ought to be annoyed really because any additional strain upon your overtaxed nervous system is definitely my concern. But the circumstances are amusing, Jess. It would almost appear that Gwen believes in sharing her miseries… believing perhaps that “misery shared is misery halved”. But Barry seems to have different ideas on the subject. He is not going to put up with the row without some recompense… a chocolate isn’t a bad swop after all – these days!
I suppose Bill Gilbert’s visit was a surprise to you: he doesn’t forget you, Jess – and I don’t think he ever will. You were too much of a phenomena in his life – always.
It is now very late. The S.S.M. came back this evening and there has been some heavy drinking – and heavy noise in the mess. I couldn’t continue writing earlier. Must go to bed now, my love. Am on guard again tomorrow at the hospital.
Good night, my sweetheart.
Always – I love you
P.S. Have written to Francois today: am enclosing his last letter: bit of practice for you translating it.