No. 7925934. L/Sgt. Greenwood.
‘C’ Sqdn. 9th Battn. R.T.R.
A.P.O. (Army Post Office.) England.
Jess dear, You can imagine my pleasure when I found two of your letters awaiting me at lunch time. It is most unusual for letters to arrive on a Sunday. I felt lousy when I read of the trouble you are having with that water leak. As though you haven’t enough on your plate! if the plumber has to start probing the walls to find it… well, I hate to think of the consequences. And then there is the expense… plus the cost of more decorations… I feel terribly depressed when I think of these things, Jess… And of all the extra work and worry you have to contend with. You don’t complain much to me, but I know how these extra domestic hardships must harrass you… And how much easier your life could be if you had a husband at home… I find myself feeling very bitter when I dwell upon this topic, my dear. (…)
At last I have learned the story of the monkey-wrench… and now I can breathe a sigh of relief… if I can forget that damned water leak. For future reference, can you remember that the little plug to which you refer must be turned anti clockwise to remove it? (There is a diagram of a U bend at this point.) If you turn it the other way (clockwise) you are simply screwing it in tighter. Please try and remember this dear Jess. The same rule applies to screws and bolts of every description, including the various nuts and bolts on your bicycle.
B. (Barry, 1st child of RTG and Jess, born 22.3.44.) seems to have been a bit peevish, judging by one of your letters… And yet you were unable to find anything wrong. How carefully and thoroughly you looked for the cause of his trouble, didn’t you dear. It must be very maddening to have to put up with his complaints… only to be smiled at whenever you went near him. The little beggar must have wanted fussing over… nothing else. He seems to be progressing quite normally and for that I am thankful. You make no further mention of his hair, so I presume there have been no changes yet.
I was ever so glad to learn that you re-acted to Churchill’s speech very much as I did. I had one or two considerable arguments down here and was more or less accused of smelling trouble where none existed. But now I have your confirmation, also some interesting and encouraging press criticisms, so I feel more justified in my suspicions.
One interesting little point has been revealed by your letter: it concerns Shinwell’s remarks. I read what appeared to be a verbatim report of the P.M.’s speech in the Daily Mail the following day. It mentioned Shinwell’s interruption and the P.M.’s rejoinder… But it did not mention Shinwell’s additional comment about the knuckle-duster. Churchill was certainly “hoist with his own petard”… and was no doubt stuck for an answer. So the Daily Mail conveniently omitted Shinwell’s little victory – making him appear to have been silenced by Churchill.
How I agree with your comments anout the Vatican City! But I fear our hopes will not materialise. We mustn’t overlook the fact that the Vatican is probably the most sinister centre of intrigue in the whole world of politics. No doubt a satisfactory deal has been arranged with both sides. It would appear too as though Rome will be spared destruction. I have no desire for the place to be destroyed maliciously, but I feel that a few well placed bombs would teach the Romans a lesson or two. In particular, they would learn that there is no beauty in the effects of an exploding bomb, in spite of Mussolini junior. You may remember that he wrote a book about his experiences as a bomber pilot in the Abyssinian war. Among other things, he spoke in glowing terms of the beautiful effect produced by an exploding bomb – viewed from the air, of course – and of how the upsurge of the debris and huts and natives etc. reminded him of the unfolding of the petals of a tulip! The gallant airman became quite poetical.
I think you must be right about the French National Committee. I confess that I have been confused and mystified about the business, Jess. Churchill’s objection, that De Gaulle cannot be recognised as his government has not been elected by the French people, seems hardly logical when we remember that the same criticism can be applied to Tito. But I suppose Churchill knows De Gaulle only too well… and has had to make some excuse.
I have been sorting out my belongings today and am making up a small parcel which I hope to send home in a day or two. It will include a couple of books – a bundle of your/my letters (you must put them safely away.) and a vest or two which are too small for me. Please make use of them if you can, dear. There will be no letter with the parcel… nor any little surprises for my sweetheart, I am sorry to say.
And now I must get to bed – I hope you are not worrying on my account: I am quite well… and I never forget that I have your love and good wishes.
Good night, dear Jess
I love you — always.
PS. I may be able to hear some of Sibelius 2nd Symphony during the coming week:- probably the second movement… Yum Yum!