No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood, R.T.
9th Battn. R.T.R.
Jess Darling: This has been a very quiet day: we had reveille at 8.0 am, which is very late for us. I rolled out of bed at 9.0 am and had breakfast at 10 O/c. Since then I have been having a general sorting out, including a bath and change of clothing etc.
At the moment, there is no sign of a move, and most of the fellows are out in a ‘passion truck’ this evening. But I think it is possible that we will leave this orchard tomorrow for a short journey… (There are a few illegible words at this point ‘blue-pencilled’ by the official censor). Apart from yesterday, we have had a fairly hectic few days, with unearthly hours etc, and the present inactivity is very welcome. I cannot foresee any change in this state of affairs in the immediate future-!
I am enclosing a cutting from the “Sunday Times” of Sept 3rd. You will notice a brief reference to our vehicles… altho’ it must not be assumed that we only operated in the ‘Falaise Gap’. The latter provided us with a bit of excitement, and there were no casualties in the squadron, I am glad to say. We were actually in action about a mile N.W. of Falaise itself on the day the town was finally occupied, Wed. 16.8.44. We had hoped to enter the town itself in the evening, but as with most of our actions, we were denied the ‘privelege’ of entering a town. Instead of being in Falaise that evening, we made a wild dash to the north east… about 21 miles. And for the next few days we were constantly on the move… chasing the now definitely retreating enemy eastwards. So I never actually saw the town of Falaise, altho’ we did a fair amount of work for it during the week preceding its fall.
The same thing applied at Caen. We fought all round the place, and when we were finally shifted south into the Falaise salient, we took a circuitous route around the north and eastern flanks of the town. I only saw the suburbs, and the factories in the distance. I saw also some of the heavy R.A.F. raids on the place. The scene of destruction is indescribable. We have been close witnesses of many heavy R.A.F. raids… by Bomber Command… and on at least one occasion we were a damned sight too close. We spent a very unhappy couple of hours that day.
Since then, we have not been very enthusiastic about Bomber Command, but I can never speak too highly of the assistance given us by the Typhoons of the Tactical Air Force. We all pay tribute to the lads who pilot those planes. They have always been available to give us direct assistance. Please don’t think I am unappreciative of the bomber crews… far from it. But their assistance was more indirect than that of the Typhoons.
Later, Friday evening, 15.9.44
Darling… there were three letters for me last night: two from my sweet heart, and one from Kath. I now have so many letters on my conscience that I must do something about it. So this afternoon I have written to Jess Aldcroft: she was the first on my list. I must write Kath next… maybe tonight, if I have time.
We have not moved today, nor does it now seem likely that we will do so. Instead, we have done some work on the vehicles… and a few fellows have been to a nearby town this afternoon to see an Ensa show. This evening, too, there will be another ‘passion truck’, I believe.
I note your reference to the robin, my dear… but so far I have not been able to make any reference to the subject. All the same, present conditions, and our immediate prospects, could be a good deal worse than they are.
In her letter. K. refers to the ciggys which are being sent to me on a communal basis, weekly. I will not mention this subject in my reply: it seems to have become rather complicated, and I don’t want to say anything which may upset Toddy. (R.T.G’s brother) But for your information, I have received no more since that first 1000 parcel two or three weeks ago.
I am going to leave you now dear: this letter may go by this evening’s post if I hurry… It is a bit of a scrappy sort of letter… but I may be able to do better tomorrow.
Au revoir, My Jess.
I love you, dear
Always – Your Trevy.