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


D: -7

Jess Darling: Once again, I have little local news for you. The first draft from the squadron departed this morning – and the second draft goes tomorrow. The rest of the squadron appears to be destined for B.H.Q:- I say ‘appears’ because we have not yet been informed of anything – officially. Our acting squadron commander seems to be so bloated with the ‘importance’ of his temporary authority that he is treating the whole move as a secret military operation. But the local civilians are pretty well informed… and they say we are going on Monday morning, so it must be true:- the ‘frats’ evidently have not been pledged to secrecy!

I have sent another parcel today, Jess. It contains my two shirts, two or three books, a toy Jeep for Barry, and some hankies:- I want you to use the hankies, darling – providing they aren’t too large for you. I feel that I am running the risk of losing these things in the post, but there would be a similar risk in leaving them in my kit-bag: we do not carry the latter for a good deal of the journey home, and it is quite an easy matter for anyone so inclined to rifle them. This is the second parcel I have sent – and I may send a third – and can only hope that postal supervision is now more effective than it used to be.

Am enclosing the ‘photos of Barry mentioned in my last letter: they are not perfect – but I hope you like them. Considering they are enlargements of small prints, I think Les has done a good job. The enlargement of your ‘photo pleases me – but I am keeping the best copy – naturally-! There is no more news of Barry’s Polyfoto, so I presume you have not received it – or are you keeping it as a pleasant surprise for Mr. Greenwood?

The news today about Barry’s tumble downstairs was rather unpleasant – but I cannot say I was completely surprised. Practically all babies have at least one such tumble – and they are usually none the worse for it. It is a good job that we have reasonably well-carpeted stairs, otherwise he may have had a few nasty bruises. On the whole, I think we are lucky: he has learned one of babyhood’s painful lessons – without apparently suffering any physical harm. I guess you were ‘injured’ more than Barry: it must have been an awful shock to you dear, but I think you had more or less got over it when you wrote to me.

About the alphabet business… I don’t know what to say – other than that I can easily understand the shop-keeper’s incredulity. It is amazing, Jess: I’ve never before heard of a baby learning to talk and read simultaneously. Needless to say, I am terribly bucked and proud to think that our little son is showing such early signs of exceptional intelligence. Not long ago, I pondered somewhat over the problem of over-straining his brain – but now, I feel much less uneasy. If he were being forced to ‘study’ at his tender age, the result would certainly be harmful… but no force is being used:- his interest is entirely spontaneous – and as long as it remains so, I feel that everything must be alright. I think you are absolutely right in encouraging his interest and curiosity… and you are doing it damned well. If he loses interest, it will be perfectly obvious… and I know you will then know what to do. Meanwhile… I hope he persists in bullying you into teaching him… It almost seems as though he is wilfully ‘swotting’… so as to be able to ‘show-off’ to his daddy. He will certainly have a very willing audience-!

Thanks for the news about the music I mentioned. I don’t think there can be much doubt about my having heard Cesar Franck’s ‘Variations Symphonique’. As I told you, it was definitely a symphonic work for piano and orchestra… and I definitely heard the word “Sinfonique” in the announcement, along with the composer’s name. ‘Tis a pity there is no recent recording – but the old one may be worth having: we can at least hear it, anyhow. Tchaikovsky’s ‘Marche Slav’ should be pretty good done by the B.B.C. orch: we must hear that too. Richardson’s ‘London Fantasia’ is too recent to appear in our catalogue: it is even doubtful whether it has yet been recorded… but it will be interesting to find out. Incidentally, I believe the B.B.C. refused to broadcast this work during the war owing to the ‘siren’ theme being too realistic. It is certainly a clever piece of musical realism… and the composer has admitted to having spent much time thinking it out.

I haven’t heard any more startling pieces lately, Jess… but this doesn’t mean that I have not heard plenty of music. Only today, I listened to a condensed version of the Messiah… and have heard some lovely extracts from “La Forza del Destino” this evening… including ‘May Angels Guard Thee’… And last evening, I heard most of the final movement of Sibelius 2nd Symphony. Gosh! It was thrilling.

Must go to bed now dear –
‘Tis very late –
Goodnight darling
Your Trevy.