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


D -4

Jess Darling: It was this day – five years ago… But you know what follows, don’t you, dear… Much of what has happened during these five years has been forgotten:- and most of the remainder is becoming a blurred memory, mostly unpleasant. But there are certain things I can never forget: they pierce the gloom of these years with amazing clarity – and all of them are associated with you.

Do you think I am exaggerating… or being extravagant… perhaps because of my love for you-?? I don’t think I am – although I don’t deny that the knowledge of your love has been a permanent and lovely inspiration.

I remember that first good-bye:- that awful feeling of loneliness and despair as the train drew me away:- and left me with a vivid picture of your dear self – standing on the platform – alone – but so brave – and oh, so beautiful. I didn’t cry, darling – not externally, anyhow… but something happened inside me – and it has been happening ever since. I don’t quite know what it is, but I do know that I can truthfully say, in all humility, that because of it I have been able to conduct myself in a manner not unworthy of you. I do not say this boastfully – but merely as a confession of my deep indebtedness to you: you set me an example, my dear… and at the same time gave me the inspiration to follow it.

I have so many memories of you, Jess:- it would take me a long long time to enumerate them all… but there is one which I must mention because of its extra special significance. It happened on one of my leaves – such a short leave… I was lying very close to you… and gazing into your lovely eyes. I told you something… the very first intimation of our little son… and you rewarded me with a look which even now as I write makes my heart glow with warmth and happiness. I cannot even attempt to describe what I saw… but I’m certain dear, that if ever a man saw the soul of a beautiful woman he loved… then I saw it that day in your eyes. Even the memory of it is an exquisite pleasure… I feel sure now that our little fellow’s sunny personality was created by you at that moment. It is going to be so nice for us to talk about these happy memories… and we are going to talk about them soon – to our heart’s content.

I received the last letter today from Sgt. Greenwood’s sweetheart… dated Nov 22nd… Such a nice letter… a sweet-sad-happy letter… and as Sgt Greenwood – I want to say thank you for a beautiful little farewell message… And thank you too, dear, for preparing Barry for the homecoming of his daddy – Mr. Greenwood: There is however one little portion of your story which reminds me that I have omitted to give you all the details of my journey.

You have assumed that I will travel by train from London to Manchester… and this is quite good enough for Barry’s little story – but it is not good enough for my Jess. What may happen is that I will report to Oxford (a demobilising centre or dispersal camp or something) and from Oxford, I will go to Hereford for the final release stages… And it is from Hereford that I will travel home as a released soldier. I believe Hereford lies on a direct line to Crewe, so I am almost certain to leave the train at Stockport, instead of going on to Manchester.

At one time, the army barracks at Ashton-under-Lyne was the final demobilising station, but I am told that this is no longer the case… Hereford being now used for men living in Lancs and Cheshire. I don’t think you will need any warning that what I have said cannot be taken as definite: the army will simply deal with us as it thinks fit. But lots of men living in or near Manchester have recently passed through Hereford, so it is reasonable to assume that we will do likewise. On the other hand, there is a demob. station at York – which could be used for us… I believe I will be able to find out all the necessary details as soon as we reach England… and you can rest assured that I will let you know – by telegram if necessary.

And now I am going to bed… not because I am tired… but because I am cold. This is a miserable hole of a ‘mess’ – there isn’t even a decent fire – and it is darned cold. I can at least get warm between army blankets.

Goodnight, Jess… my dear wife
Always – I love you
Your Trevy.