No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood, R.T.
9th Battn. R.T.R.
Jess Darling: I suppose you are just as bewildered as all of us by recent developments over here: the rapid collapse of Germany is almost breath-taking… I have ‘lost’ the front lines now, and so cannot mark up our map. It all seems too good to be true, doesn’t it dear… especially the surrender of the entire German armies in Italy. I think most of us expected the war to drag on indefinitely in the Alps and Northern Italy… But now it would appear that the last enemy stronghold will be at the opposite end of the compass – in Norway.
What an exciting period we have just passed through… Mussolini’s death, Hitler’s death, Goebbels, Himmler, Goering silent, and possibly dead: Berlin Captured, Hamburg occupied, the complete occupation of Germany proper, apart from a tiny corner in the north:- the strange ‘armistice’ in N. Holland to allow the passage of food convoys by land and air… and almost hourly there are reports of fresh surrenders, and prisoners are turning up too quickly to be counted… The new German ‘Fuehrer’ must have a headache… and so must his new foreign secretary – and so must Laval. (Pierre Laval, ‘Vichy’ French Prime Minister.) Laval… a slimy human toad if ever there was one. Even that gallant Christian gentleman Franco dare not harbour the creature… If he does not commit suicide, the French people will see that he doesn’t live much longer.
There are still a few of these traitors to be rounded up, but I’ve no doubt that their names will appear on our prisoners’ lists before long… names which have almost been forgotten during the war. One of them was mentioned yesterday – Admiral Horthy, but where are the others? viz. Smygly-Ridz (Marshall Edward Rydz-Smygly of Poland), Mussert (Anton Mussert, leader of the Dutch fascist NSB party), Colonel Beck, Joyce, Amery, Baillie-Stewart, Quisling, Ley… and umpteen others. I don’t think they have long to live…
I often imagine you, dear, dithering with excitement as you listen to the tremendous news coming over the radio:- I see you smoking like a chimney… and drinking tea by the gallon. What wouldn’t I give to be with you… to share your enthusiasm: to see so much gladness lighting up your dear face. Jess… my love… it can’t be long now… it is even possible that our re-union can be measured in weeks… There is little else I can think of these days.
I have today received a letter from Mr. C. (Cornelese). I may reply to him this evening and will tell him about your letter… although I s’pose he has received it by now…
Jess… I have been asked by our S.Q.M.S. to confirm the amount of my voluntary allotment. According to my pay-book, my first V.A. was 1/6 per day (one shilling and six pence) (10/6 p.w.). Later, I doubled this amount, and so you should now be drawing £1.1.0 p.w. (one pound one shilling) in addition to your regulation army pay. I hope you can confirm this. The query has arisen because Bradford have sent through a statement shewing my V.A. as 2/3 per day, not 3/-(three shillings). If you are only drawing the 2/3 per day, then some idiot has made a blunder. Please let me know by return if poss.
I have no news for you today, dear one… My life has become static with a vengeance just lately. Occasionally, I wander around the town, but this is hardly a pleasure. I am always so conscious of being an unwelcome guest amongst these people. And while they are quite docile and apparently harmless, I never feel comfortable amongst them. I don’t trust them: their conception of treachery is different from ours.
I have written a short note to Kath, and will enclose her letter with this… And now, dear lady, I leave you… until tomorrow.
Good night, Jess… My Jess…