No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood, R.T.
9th Battn. R.T.R.
D + 127 (R.T.G’s normal heading for diary entries,
not previously used in the letters).
Jess darling: It is now about five days since I received your last letter… but I know there are several awaiting me somewhere. Maybe I will receive them tomorrow. I have felt very uneasy about my letters to you during the last two or three weeks. I have written so little… and I feel certain that you will have been worrying about me. I would have done anything rather than cause you any distress, but I cannot compete with the army… I can only hope you have been busily occupied with our little Poppet… and not worried yourself needlessly on my account.
There has been much movement lately, my dear… And this coupled with the all too short evenings, and the rainy weather, has prevented me from talking to you as I so love doing. But maybe the immediate future will be better. I certainly hope so, because my conscience has earned a rest. It has been very uneasy lately, especially when I recall the many long and lovely letters I have been receiving from you.
I have no special news for you just now… As usual, I am able to report that I am perfectly well… physically… and likely to remain so… I hope! And I have more or less everything I need. We will shortly be issued with new woollen clothing for the colder weather… so you must not consider sending me any extra clothing… In fact, I think it would be a good idea for you to utilise my ‘woollies’ for Poppet, if you can alter them suitably. He is going to need some warm clothing for his first winter.
And what about his mummy?.. Are you well equipped, dear Jess? You must take care of yourself, as well as Poppet. You are too precious to expose yourself to even the slightest risks.
Thurs evening 12.10.44.
A lousy light this evening – but I can just about manage. There were three letters for me today, darling… a lovely day for me-! But – alas… I now know that the absence of news from me has caused you much worry… I have found out, too, that the few letters I have written lately may have been delayed unnecessarily at this end. There appears to have been some carelessness in disposing of the squadron’s outgoing letters during recent weeks, and I feel sure some of my letters may have been held up, unknown to me.
You guessed correctly that my inability to write was caused by movement… But this handicap does not now apply:- not at the moment anyhow. You guessed correctly too (how do you do it?) when you assumed that the dance I described took place in a village near Dieppe. It was at Beaunay… 6 or 8 miles south of Dieppe. We spent a few days there, and I know I wrote a few letters, as we were then enjoying a comparatively easy time. But it was at Beaunay that our outgoing mails started to go wrong… so my letters have either been delayed… or lost. I want you to know, Jess dear, that I fully understand the dreadful anxiety you suffer in the absence of letters from me… and that I will always write to you if conditions permit. But there is one feature of our life these days which makes it difficult… even impossible… to write as much as I used to. I mean shorter days and bad weather. If it is raining… an almost daily occurrence now… I cannot write in the open: nor is the tank much better, because it is not really waterproof. So a roof is really necessary in wet weather. The question of daylight is the worst problem. Our bivvys cannot be ‘blacked out’, and this prevents the use of artificial light when we are near the enemy… as at present. Fortunately, at the moment we are living in vacated civvy houses, complete with furniture and blackouts, so I am able to write… as long as this tiny oil-lamp continues to burn! Conditions at the moment are not bad… nor do they seem likely to become anything like as hectic as in Normandy… so please do not worry, darling.
I do love your letters about our little Poppet. And today I have one devoted almost exclusively to the little fellow… your description of his vaccination. I can easily understand your apprehension:- your horror of subjecting him to ‘torture’. But modern vaccination is not a painful business, so I don’t think he will have been in pain, altho he may suffer from the after-effects… But you will know all about it by now… and I am eagerly awaiting your letters reporting his progress.
Shanahan’s opinions are very interesting. I certainly hope he is right. The news about the tiny irregularity in one of his eyes would be alarming… but for your assurance and Shanahan’s verdict. All the same, I am glad you intend to make further enquiries. If anything is wrong with the little chap, now is the time to have it attended to. I have been trying to recall whether there are any cases of ‘squint’ eyes in our families, but I cannot think of a single case. So he is hardly likely to have inherited a defect of this type. His other peculiarities… especially his head and odd ears, are almost certainly inheritied from me. Dorothy has always said that I had a queer head as a baby and was something of a freak. But there must have been some improvement with age in my case, otherwise I would certainly be more lop-sided than I am.
No: I am not worried about Barry, my love. But I do so want to see him. I am longing to see that captivating little smile: those long eyelashes… his fine little face… And his mummy:- Jessie Jess… You know how much I love you: how I long for you… always longing…
Must leave for post now dear… Please excuse hasty finish.
Be writing again later.
Au revoir, my love