No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood.
C Sqdn, 9th Battn R.T.R.



Jess Darling: Do you remember the name “Boh”? I suppose you do: it was Mrs Boh who used to make those colossal fruit tarts – and who used to scold me for smoking – and who was everlastingly talking to me in Dutch. And she and her husband had a passion for “Ludo”… And in spite of everything, both of them were in tears when I said good-bye – and we left Brunssum… Well – I’ve just sent them a little present – a mixture of odds and ends – soap, choc, ciggys, razor blades, tooth paste, couple of hankys, a bottle of Bovril, and boot polish: I know they can’t buy these things and am sure they will be acceptable. I decided to send them when I learned that one of our lads was spending his leave in Brunssum: he departed this morning. I don’t know whether it is really wise to perpetuate these brief friendships – but I couldn’t resist the temptation to send them a little reminder of their kindness to me.

Jess – today I have your letter of the 4th and it is now obvious – even to this thick-skulled husband, – that the question of visitors has become a serious menace to your well-being. I regret now having written to you about “tolerance” and “kindness”. In principle, I suppose there was something in what I said… but principles often have to go by the board in cases of emergency… and that is why you and I will have to ignore principle. This constant pestering by Mrs Roberts – and yes, John and Stan – will have to stop. You need a rest, my dear – a long rest and freedom from having your life and activities interfered with more or less at the whim of outsiders.

I feel annoyed with Mrs Roberts, and I don’t think I will make any attempt to hide my annoyance when I come home. How else will it be possible to keep her away from the house? I believe she is a psychological case, and can still feel a bit sorry for her – but I’m damned if I’m going to tolerate her perpetual interference: she ought to have more sense.

John and Stan are in a different category: I can’t feel annoyed with either of them – in fact, I’m genuinely sorry for them, and like you, I really want to try and help them. But they will have to be less of a nuisance to you. I feel certain that it will only require a little tact to handle them.

I have been wondering whether it would be advisable for you and I and Barry to ‘disappear’ for two or three weeks when I get home. It would be one way of ensuring freedom from visitors. But this seems rather like running away from the problem – a problem which will have to be faced. Furthermore, I want to be at home with you, darling. There is nowhere like home for real privacy (visitors apart!) and for behaving like a complete idiot – if one so desires! You can’t, for instance, behave like a half-wit to entertain a baby, in a hotel or boarding house. No: for a start, I would like to be at home – say until after Xmas – and then we can think about journeying forth – maybe to Parry’s or London, or Blackburn.

Perhaps visitors will automatically cease to be a menace when I am home. There surely won’t be the same desire on the part of relations to see me, now that I no longer have to return to the army – and possible danger. But if there are signs of pestering, then I will simply have to be quite frank with the culprits. It will be an unpleasant business dear, but I can’t think of a better solution.

I hope you agree with me darling about getting away from the house after we have had the first few weeks together. You do so need a change from those ‘four walls’. I know there will be difficulties about transporting Barry… but there will be two of us – and it won’t be all work. I feel there are bound to be ample compensations for whatever we do for Barry.

The weather is something we will have to reckon with… but I’m not really worried about it. What does it matter – if we can be together: I would face any blizzard, for the privilege of seeing that lovely glow in your cheeks once again.

I think Cleveleys wouldn’t be so bad for three or four days: a few long walks along the sea-front would do you a world of good. As for Barry-! To see his lovely little face as he surveys the sea for the first time! What a treat that will be. We might be able to go to London too… but am not so sure about that: I feel tired whenever I think about London!!

What are we going to do about that back-ache Jess? I don’t like it, and feel damned uneasy about it. The physical discomfort is bad enough for you… but what is the cause. I would like to know: I would like you to find out. Will you do so, darling? Please see Shanahan: we will both feel happier to know that there is nothing really wrong.

You send me some excellent news about Barry: he is in grand health and spirits: a distinct contrast to his dear mummy. Without wishing him any harm, I would much prefer to have things more evenly balanced. But we can’t have everything, can we dear. If it were not for Barry – you wouldn’t be anything like so harassed… but you wouldn’t have the exquisite little pleasures which he has brought into your life. No: you wouldn’t be without the little pest – and neither would I. But there is no reason why you should continue to work like a cart-horse when I am home. That is something we can alter.

I can’t pass much comment upon Rene Potts’ visit. One thing I can understand, and that is your desire to sleep when she is talking: she can’t help being a bore I s’pose… but that is no reason why we should see her more than – well – infrequently: she is alright in small doses. And that reminds me that I am now due for my small dose of sleep. Sunday tomorrow: only two or three Sundays more… and then… Oh Jess: I wish these days were not so long: it is such a long time since I saw you… but it can’t be long now…

Goodnight, my love… My Jess:
Your Trevy.

P.S. Les Challinor took the enclosed snaps during the dinner we provided for the corporals recently: I was mess caterer at the time – and had the ‘privilege’ of serving the wine, hence the bottle.

P.P.S. The “enclosed” Reynolds cutting was not enclosed with your letter. I’ll bet I don’t forget my enclosure-!!