No. 1 Convalescent Depot, Brixham, Devon
I received your letter of July fifteen and was naturally glad to hear from you. I am glad the regimental pictures arrived safely and that you like yours. It seems ages since |I had those pictures mailed, but if they arrived, that is the main thing, after all. I think I told you in my last letter of having received a parcel of cigs from May and Bert, but will repeat just to make sure. I also got another parcel of ditto’s from a certain Miss Swinton, who is apparently ashamed of her Christian name but I strongly suspect Phyl is the culprit, so will thank her anyway.
As far as I know, only one parcel of cigs has gone astray so far, which is considered very good. Luckily for me, I don’t smoke much as cigs are a terrible price now, 1/6 for twenty. This may not seem so much at a glance, but it works quite a hardship on the troops.
It is strange about you worrying about Liulf and I meeting, as this took place over two months ago in Aldershot. He moved in just two days before my outfit left, so we were lucky to meet. Liulf looked well and seemed to be doing very well to boot. I understand he is drawing fifty cents a day extra for trade pay now. We write back and forth quite often, though I haven’t heard from him for the last ten days. I am expecting to get my seven-days leave on my return to my unit, in which event, I will certainly look my brudder up again.
You make my mouth water at the mention of strawberry shortcake and, from your repost, I gather that you had a bumper crop of strawberries this year. When you talk about roses, it makes me wish that you lived in a spot where they really grow. No, your lists of birds and flowers don’t bore me in the least as I can just see them in my mind’s eye as I read. I am sorry to hear of Trixie’s little private war and the disastrous results. I think she would have been much wiser to withdraw gracefully or otherwise, as withdrawals are quite the fashion these days. Tell Alan if he can’t eliminate Her Cat with a twenty-two I will have to see the War Dept. about selling him a Bren machine gun or a hand grenade.
I am very much surprised to learn that the weeds have made an appearance in the raspberry patch, as this was unheard of in my time. Above all things, don’t let me hear of you trying to clean up the mess yourself or I will wind up this War and come home to paddle you. I heard that commentary of an air battle too when I was in the hospital and enjoyed it as much as you did. But that scrap isn’t a patch on the scraps we are reading of in every morning paper. It is extremely gratifying to hear of our R.A.F. exploits, as I am quite certain that the war will be won by the nation having the strongest air-force.
I have heard whistling bombs dropped on several occasions now, the closest being about half a mile distant. They make a lovely whine, followed by a dull roar. The last time Gerry was near, he left a delayed-action bomb, which exploded four hours later. From private sources, I have been able to learn that in spite of Nazi claims, no material damage has been done to the military objective in this country. Sometimes I am very much tempted to apply for a job as an air-gunner, just to get into the game.
Well, I have been here for five weeks now and expect to leave next week. I look better than I ever have and feel just as good and have really had a splendid holiday; I enjoyed it to the full, because I knew the boys were just sitting on their pratts in some bush eating mutton stew or the like, so that I knew I wasn’t missing any fun. We had a sports meet this afternoon, consisting of simple team competitions, not too strenuous and full of pranks, followed by a dance. The people of the neighbouring camp were guests and a good time resulted.
Speaking of good-looking girls, I really met one and found her just as nice as she looks. I don’t care to make any predictions as yet, but don’t be too surprised if your handsome son comes home with a little help (or hinder) mate. Well, don’t take this statement too seriously and I will send some snaps to allow you to pass judgement on my taste. Well, I have a date with the lady in question tonight, since I have run completely out of ideas, will close for now.