C Sqdn, 9th Battn R.T.R.
Jessie Mine: In my hurriedly written letter yesterday, I told you about one or two changes in the unit… but am afraid my comments were a bit hazy. Here are a few more details…
Major Holden was our squadron commander up to a couple of months ago, when he was promoted to Battn. second-in-command – ie, next in authority to the colonel. To replace Holden, Major Crawshaw arrived at C. squadron from some outside unit.
Holden, who’s group number is 19, is leaving the battn. on Monday – for civvy street… and his place as battn. 2 i/c. is being taken by our Major Crawshaw – the latter being the senior major in the unit, after Holden. And in Crawshaw’s place, our squadron commander will be Capt Gulland: he will be promoted to major. Gulland came to the 9th whilst I was in Paris, and was attached to H.Q. squadron for some weeks. A fortnight ago, he came to C. squadron to take the place of our sqdn. second-in-command, Capt. Link… the latter having been promoted major in command of H.Q. squadron: we were sorry to part with ‘Sid’ Link… he had been with “C” for some years… But H.Q. seems to be a happy hunting ground for ‘C’ wallahs:- they now have Major Holden, Major Link, R.Q.M.S. David, RSM. Edwards… and Major Crawshaw going tomorrow.
I think we will be better off under Gulland. I don’t know a great deal about him, but he seems a straight and genuine sort of fellow. He is very quiet, and even when he speaks, he only purrs in a husky murmur. He doesn’t seem to be the type of man to drive the fellows to distraction for personal glory… But we must wait and see: men often behave differently when they replace three ‘pips’ with a ‘crown’. Incidentally, Major Crawshaw is leaving us in a minor blaze of glory. A congratulatory letter has arrived today from the Brigadier in whose area we are working. It appears that crime has almost disappeared in our area since we commenced our patrols… and as a mark of his appreciation, the Brig. has awarded the sqdn two days holiday. It’s something, anyhow: the lads deserve a rest.
I have been doing a few vehicle road tests during the last few days, and have been able to see a little of the surrounding countryside. It really is a lovely district, Jess: the hills are well wooded, and just now, the colouring is really beautiful… scenery in the true sense of the word. I have only seen the foothills of the Harz mountains… and now I am anxious to go a bit further afield where the mountains are much higher. I hope to manage it… before I leave.
I cannot send you any pictures of our surroundings because our photographers seem to have run short of films… but am enclosing three P/c’s of our immediate neighbourhood: as you will see, they are not intended as views of local scenery. The place called Salzgitter is a small town about three miles to the east of Ringelheim: Gitterberg is a small village about a mile away on the Salzgitter road: the picture is an earial view of a gliding school. The third picture is a view of the ‘back yard’ of our ‘schloss’. The tall facade on the left is the church (still used by local civvies): a crude sketch on the reverse shews a rough outline of the building… its nicest feature – the park – being invisible on the card. (Click here to see the ‘schloss’ post card, and the reverse side sketch by RTG. The other two post cards described have not survived.)
Darling… I did laugh about that little incident of Barry’s… where he stuck to the old man’s walking stick in Lewis’s: it was a lovely little story. I can just imagine him clinging to that stick – and looking reproachfully at you for making him relinquish such a lovely ‘treasure’. We’ll have to buy him a walking-stick – specially made to measure. And how his little brain must have been working on those signs at London Rd! What a day it must have been… see-saws, rocking horses, escalators, lifts, engines… and all the hundred and one other mysteries of his day. His little brain must have been in a turmoil – But I’ll bet he enjoyed himself… his mummy did too – in spite of all the physical exertion.
You don’t seem to have had a very successful shopping expedition, Jess… but it was good to read of your visit to the photographers. I am looking forward to seeing the proofs. Please send them as soon as you can. And thank you for thinking of this happy idea.
I still hope you will buy a completed dress, instead of making one for yourself – not that I don’t like you in home-made clothes… but because I want you to have some time to yourself. Dress-making can become very tedious I know – even though it may be a labour of love.
Bed-time now, my sweetheart –
Au revoir –