C Sqdn, 9th Battn R.T.R.
Jessie Mine: I have been to a concert in the village this evening. It was given by a German concert party, and attended by both British soldiers and civilians: a rather mixed up sort of audience. It was quite entertaining, especially the musical items and two or three songs by a really good baritone. There were one or two humorous items as well, but the German language was used – so the troops couldn’t appreciate the fun. We have had the job of transporting and feeding the artists, so it must have been an army sponsored affair, altho it seems strange for us to be providing entertainment for the German people by their own artists.
To me, one of the pleasantest features of the evening was their appreciation of the meal we provided. They had dinner at 4.30pm in the sergeants mess – seventeen of them – and did they eat!! They must have been starving. Fortunately we had plenty of tinned M & V and so were able to provide many of them with a third helping… I imagine you may feel slightly cynical about Jerries being fed by us in this manner – and I don’t blame you… But what else could we have done? After all, they were working principally for the benefit of British troops, and I suppose this places us under an obligation to keep them alive. Unfortunately, one of the girl artists had to have medical attention towards the end of the show… she just collapsed in the dressing room. The doctor said her condition was due to an excess of ‘rich’ food, including plenty of fairly strong tea – on a stomach suffering from under-nourishment. So it looks as though we were really being cruel by being kind!
I haven’t much else to report today, darling. We are still damnably busy with this patrolling business – and the major’s behaviour does not make matters any easier for us. But I haven’t time this evening to enumerate his faults – except to say that he appears quite a contemptible creature as a human specimen, apart from his incompetence as a soldier… I suppose something will happen soon: it is bound to.
I haven’t heard from you for two or three days, and presume you are complying with my orders!! to spend less time on letters – and more on your own welfare. But something tells me there will be a letter tomorrow – I will go and dream about it now.
‘Tis very late-
Goodnight, my love…
PS. Give Barry a big hug for his daddy – and tell him we’ll be having lots of ‘ophone soon.
I love you, darling