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4th July 1944 9th July 1944 16th July 1944 22nd July 1944
30th July 1944 8th August 1944 9th August 13th August 1944
19th August1944 24th August 1944 27th August 1944 5th September 1944
10th September 1944 21st September 1944 25th September 1944 *
4th July 1944

I was pleased to get your letter dated 21st on Saturday and I also had the one dated the 25th today. In it you seem to say I was lacking in trust because of my letter concerning the dance but I'd like you to know love that I trust you regards to faithfulness what I meant by my wishes coming last is that ever since I have known you we differ when it comes to a man's point of view concerning cricket dinners, drinks after football and now a dance organized by the camp. I think I am making a hash of explaining myself but Sheila and Michael are knocking around and I can't concentrate enough.

You say it doesn't do a soldier any good to just sit and think, does this mean love that you men must have feminine company for a change. I expect I must be a bit narrow in my mind and can't be expected to understand your feelings nor having been placed in the same circumstances. I'll have to finish this or else I'll be saying that's wrong, I'll write it when it's a bit quieter.

Well love it's now Wednesday night and this is the first chance I have had to finish this letter. My head aches and the children are still awake and keep shouting. I've just been and smacked Sheila's bottom, she keeps Keith awake and it's nearly 10pm. I have felt properly down in the dumps for the last few days and have wondered if it's worth the trouble, what with the washing, the sewing, cooking (that they don't eat), cleaning ,mending putting toys away after them and the endless jobs that they mamma me for day after day. That's what makes me wonder why you can't be content with just chaps to talk to along with your camp shows, pictures, operas and a quiet read now and again. It is almost a week since I have been able to just sit after putting the kiddies to bed and read.

Mrs. Woodcock brought the new baby , Peter, home today, he's the sweetest little chap, a five pounder, it's hard to think of Michael so small. Mr. W has managed to get 7 days leave although all leaves are stopped outside of 25 miles, he had to get quite a lot of signing done before he could leave.

Glady's went to see Tom at Preston at the weekend, she had a very tiring time traveling but has seen for herself how he is and that's the main thing. He is getting along alright. The wound is in the fleshy part of the groin, he says he is glad to be out of it.

Mam thinks that Percy has gone over now as she had a card last week saying write later and nothing more.. Mabel had one too. Mabel had a slight stroke on Monday, the doctor was mad with her for starting to work again but she had to got to the labour and they made her go back to work. He said she should have seen him as she has enough with the children and home without the extra work. 

It's about time they put a stop to this war these flying bombs that Hitlers sending are the very devil. The people in London are never free from sirens, a lot of evacuees have come here again. I hope to god they never get as far as here, it makes us all wonder what the hell he will send next.

Well love so far this letter isn't very cheery, let me tell you the latest garden news. We have had what the cat left of the peas but there was hardly a boiling, a few new potatoes and tried the lettuce and carrots and also the raspberries are good. Everything has shot up this week as we have had plenty of rain. It's been a bit better today although I was caught in a good shower when I went shopping this afternoon.

Would you like me to send your bathing costume along or would it be too late by the time you have received it. Perhaps some nice Italian miss could make you some trunks. Have you purchased a chair in the church love, does that mean you are near where the first landings in Italy were made.

I riddled all the slack (Slack is a kind of very powdery small coal lumps) I had on Friday and ever since I have had a pain down my side, it feels more like when I had sciatica or have you forgotten I had it once. It almost lets me down after I've sat down for a little while, it must be old age eh love.

Well love I will try better in my next letter I hope. God bless you love and give you strength to stick it out. 

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July 9th 1944

I was pleased to get the airgraph to say you had received the photo. I am expecting an airmail tomorrow to hear a fuller account of the joy it gave you to see your lovely family. I thought you would like it love and it's just how they are when they are on their best behaviour. Keith knew it was for you and you can almost see it in his face.

It has been raining all day today (as usual) but now at 6pm the sun is coming out so we might have a nice evening. Bernice came last night and has stayed all the day so of course I've washed up and finished for the time being. I'm going to give the family a bath in a little while.

I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow as I want to get to the Infirmary. I wasn't able to go last Monday and didn't feel well enough on Thursday so I went to bed in the afternoon. I think life and things in general were getting me down a bit although I have been better this weekend.

I shall take Sheila to the doctors in the morning as she has been complaining of her throat today and she is off her food too. I shall tell him how I have been feeling and about this sciatic pain I have got and he will soon put us right again.

I've had quite a lot up this weekend, Nora and Alf came last night and of course Mabel and Bernice and Peggy and Les. Tonight Winnie and Iris, Mabel, Bernice Peggy and Les. I only want you now love and I'd be OK.

Mr. Brown has been home unofficially this weekend. The billet officers came round the other day to see if I could have one or two children from London but I really don't feel I could stand any more responsibility but I said I'd think about it. Mrs. S. is having a boy and Mrs. Quinn has got a little girl. There were 900 who came to Leicester on Friday and some came yesterday and today and more are expected during the week. I feel sorry for the poor kids but don't feel I can help much.

Mrs. S. is having Michael on Tuesday night while John, Keith, Sheila, Bernice and myself go to see "Old Mother Riley" on the Opera, we shall be home just after eight so it won't be too bad. I do hope Sheila isn't too poorly.

Mrs. Keeling has got an evacuee mother and baby and your Nora is having a little girl. Your mother is coming home from Thurcaston tomorrow.

I heard on the wireless today that Caen had been taken and that the Russians are still doing well but the end still seems a long way off to me.

Sheila has been really scared of planes since that one crashed near the park and the last week we have had some Dakotas flying around and some seem to just skim the housetops. You know how solemn she looks when she's sucking her thumb and her eyes all wide open and she says" me don't like them" she cuts a pitiful picture.

I'll say goodnight love and see if I get that letter tomorrow, are you very mad at me for writing that letter. I know you wouldn't do wrong but I can't bear the thought of you ever kissing another girl.

Well love it's Tuesday now and I haven't had a letter only one from the government to send my grant book back as owing to increases I have had it is being cancelled. That is the B government we are all fighting for, we ought to let them do it themselves on £3-12-6d when children's shoes are 16/11d a pair.  Can't you tell them to go to hell and come home on the next boat.

Well that's that, I had the doctor to Sheila yesterday and he didn't think there was a lot wrong with her and gave her some medicine, she seems brighter today so I will take her to the Opera tonight. I asked Dr Mann for some for me as well and got some nerve tonic. I have felt lousy the last two days and now that letter and now that letter has burned me up and I was hoping to hear from you, still I will see how this medicine goes, he said it was a very good one.

I'll have my tea now before Keith gets home and then  get cracking as I want to get off early and I've still my dinner pots to wash up. I'm afraid my letters haven't been too cheery lately, I must be war weary as every one else is when the war hits and the others are just sitting back together by their own fires.

Sheila has just got up, cheerio love, lots of love from us.

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16th July 1944

At last we have had a nice day but as usual it is sultry now and looks like a storm. The wardens have been busy tonight getting some evacuees billeted . Mrs. Saunders has a boy of 9 years

Well love I had your second lot of photos by air, they were posted on the 5th and I had those and an airmail dated the 5th on Thursday, that was the second airmail last week the other was dated the 29th. I like this photo much better and I'd sooner you be without your bit of fluff, you look happy and contented love or was that just a smile for my sake. You said one was Les Meade but you don't say which one and I don't think he has ever crossed my path.

Keith and Sheila were pleased to get their letters and have been showing them around during the weekend. Keith said Sheila's was better than his and you did put more kisses on hers than Keith's. I didn't notice it love but be careful another time as he reads and counts well (here comes the rain again). I hope you are feeling better love and can face food once again.

I had a letter from Tom and he said he hoped to get up in a few days time although he hasn't got the use back in his leg yet, he sounded quite happy but didn't fancy going back again. Glady's said the nurse told him when he first landed at Portsmouth " You've not got a D.S.O. just a D.N.S.O." I expect they have to say something to make the lads smile. I also had a letter from Mrs. Dickenson and I shall try to put her up for a day or two during the kiddies holiday. I had a letter from Jack Richardson a few weeks ago and forgot to answer it. I'll be busy writing next week and also have to see Dr. Airey on Wednesday.

I am pleased to hear the news from 'Faires'. I almost went to see about a piano this weekend for £10 but I had got to go up Narborough Road to see it and didn't feel like it. Keith was in need of some trousers for school and his blazer was looking worse for wear, so I got him a new suit and I got him an overcoat as well while I was about it. He does look a big boy in it. I was making pancakes for dinner yesterday and he came round necking and said ' I know who makes pancakes better than you mammy'. I said yes, who and he laughed and said ' a cow'.

Mr. S has got to go for a medical on Tuesday it would be funny if they grabbed him at the last. Les's brother Charlie has to go to a unit on Thursday and he's away on holiday, so he'll have to cut it short. We went to the Abbey Park this afternoon with Mabel and your mam. I enjoyed it. Well love it's almost eleven again so I'll say goodnight love and put pen and paper away.

Sheila isn't as she ought to be, she has anoither little boil on her botty and a stye on her eye again and ever since that plane crashed she won't go out and play properly. She dashes in every time she hears a plane and just sucks her thumb. I shall get another bottle of medicine for us both and then go and see Dr. Mann if she is no different.

Well love I was ever so pleased to get another airmail today dated the 11th. I put Elsie Bernhams address in one airmail I sent, it must have got lost.

Harry Brown is in France.

I haven't had my photo taken yet love but I will one day when I feel at my best. Faires are sending the magazine to me. I sent the last one with some papers so you should get them soon. Mabel  has sent two lots of Chronicles.

I had 15cwt of coal this morning I was right down to three small lumps. We are allowed 2 tons from May 1st to the end of October so shall have to take care next winter. I have been to the royal today, it was a bit warm as today has been a real summer day. I did my washing this morning so I am just going to fold and mangle them and I'll leave the ironing for another day.

The bean sticks I put up are standing the wind well. I'll have to show you how I do it when you take over.

Goodnight love, all my love to you and lots of hugs and kisses from the three rascals. 

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22nd July 1944

Well love it looks like you will be home for Christmas anyway if they keep on now that a start has been made on Hitler

Today I have been out in my winter coat again, we had a few nice days but now it is quite cold. I have been to Thornton to see Phyllis and quite enjoyed it, the kiddies did too. They had a good time with Peter and Pauline, she wanted me to stay the weekend but we hadn't really come prepared but we will be spending a week there during the kiddies holidays. 

It looks like I will have a good time during august as your mam is coming one week and I'm writing to ask Mrs. Dickinson to come for a long weekend, so if I go o Phyllis's I shall do well. Lilian is coming for the day on Tuesday, I went to see her last week, she thought Sheila had grown into a real good looker and Phyllis said today she was lovely, I get quite a few compliments from people about them all.

It is now Sunday love and after my guests had all gone and I had finished my supper I want to get this letter finished. We stayed in this afternoon so while the kiddies were playing outside I thought I would have a bath and wash my hair. We had out tea fairly early and I suggested a walk when Bernice came about 5.30pm. We washed up and got the kiddies ready for when Winnie and Iris came just after 6pm. And we were just off when your mam and dad came. They said they didn't mind a walk so off we all trotted to see what sort of fair they had on the pastures. 

Then we went over Grundon Street bridge and Iris and Bernice went through the park and we went along to the Cricketers. The back wasn't open so we went to the Tuck. I got drunk on a couple of shandies and quite enjoyed it. The kiddies had a lemonade and I gave Sheila a sip of mine and so did Winnie and when we saw Bernice again, Bernice asked Sheila if she had had lemonade and  she said yes and some beer.

There was a convoy going through and there was an arrow on the pavement showing the way, of course Miss Sheila had to turn towards town. Winnie happened to notice it so it was alright but the M.Ps were on the island and they howled with laughter at her. Mabel, Peggy and Les came soon after we got home and they had been to the Blackbird. Les has made a Galleon for Keith it was a cut out he had bought with some of his birthday money and it looks grand.

By the way you didn't say your pal had disgraced himself at a dance you went to. Mr. Saunders had his medical but he told the army bloke he didn't know why he was there and he looked up where he worked etc. and just said, I don't suppose you will hear anymore and that was that. Ain't  some folks jammy, I'd like them just to have a taste. I'm glad to say Tom is getting about a bit now and seems quite cheerful.

Michael gets bits of wood or boxes or anything and puts them together like a train. I think we shall have another Keith, he gets the right training. You didn't say if you thought Michael featured any of us.

The wardens post sent 10/- for you on Wednesday and I thought you might like to treat Bernice and us to the Granby to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, so we went on Thursday. It was grand and we all enjoyed it, thank you. Let me know if it was alright or should I have banked it. I paid for a round of drinks with the change tonight.

Mr. Quinn has been round and tidied the front lawn and hedge for me. I had the first lot of beetroot for tea today and I guess I shall have about seven pounds of raspberries. I made a pie today and the family thought it was grand.

I'll just leave this letter and see if I have one from you in the morning. Goodnight love.

Well love I had your letter dated the 16th this morning, you've had your birthday cards in time, I haven't sent a present along but if there is anything you are needing just let me know.

Keith says he is doing money sums with pictures and counters now but I don't quite understands how he means. I saw Dr. Airey on Wednesday he was quite satisfied with my arm and gave it another painting, it is quite sore but as long as it heals why worry. Michael keeps coming to me to take two tins out of each other and Sheila is sucking her thumb and holding that old shawl, she has another boil poor kid.

God bless you love and all our love to you dear.

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30th July 1944

I was very pleased yesterday to get your airmail dated 21st so were Keith and Sheila to get your letters you sent them by sea but which once again came by air. Michael had his airgraph on Friday. We told him it was from his daddy and now when he sees it he says 'daddy'. He gets a proper lad.

Bernice and I took them to the fair yesterday afternoon. It's not a big one but Keith and Sheila went on the donkeys and Michael wanted to get out of his pram when he saw the gee gees so I let his have a ride as well. I'm trying to write this with him sitting on my knee as his wittering now he has woken up. It's a bit hopeless. It reminded me of that snap I have of Keith on one at Mablethorpe.

Harry took Sheila and Michael on a tram ride last night while Keith and I went to see 'Gentlemen Jim' with Mabel and Bernice. I quite enjoyed it. Harry walked up High Street with them and said Michael was delighted looking in the shops and Sheila kept wanting to wee and he said off would come her knickers  and he stood holding them for her. I can just imagine him, can't you ?.

Peggy and Les wanted us to go out to Bradgate one day this week but the weather is so unsettled. I suppose by now you have had Mabel's letter. I hadn't said anything as she wanted to tell you herself. It has worried her a lot and she hasn't looked very well this week at all but she said she felt better yesterday

Our Edith's husband Harry is in the City General and is seriously ill and they are allowed to visit at any time. I don't know exactly what is wrong but it is something internally.

I'm afraid this letter is a bit choppy as the kid's are being noisy. John has come round. I guess I had better finish this tonight. I just had to give Michael a smack to shut him up and the other two will have to have one and John will have to scram, they have had it !

Well love all is quiet now and it's 10pm. I have not had a scrap of patience today. I always seem the same lately when I'm not well. I gave the kiddies a bath today after tea and we went to the park when Winnie came. It seems quite warm tonight. Your mother and Mabel came up this afternoon. Your Mam has decided to come the week after the holiday week. I have heard Sheila's letter read at least six times. Your mother had to read it at Sheila's request.

They are really sweet kids, Eric, and I feel awful when they have gone to bed and I've been nagging and swearing at them like I've been doing today. Still they don't seem to love me any the less so I must seem good to them.

Poor old Sheila had a boil on the end of her nose. I took her to Dr. Mann yesterday and he has given me a tonic for her and I have just had another bottle of medicine.

You asked me in your letter if I can explain the army pay. All I know is that a wife with a family gets 35/- that is altogether with your allowance and the army and 12/6 for each child regardless of number. We had the first lot of Dwarf beans off the garden today and some more beet. Mrs S gave me a piece of cucumber, the first I've seen this year. The raspberries are about over but it has been a good crop. My potatoes are higher than the dividing fence and I think Harry was a bit doubtful about them so he dug one up to see and they are quite OK. 

We haven't done well with peas this time. I am drying the shallots off ready for you love so you had better make haste but you won't get your shoulder of lamb, we haven't seen much lately and the chops we have had have been tough.

You'd laugh at Michael getting raspberries. He will trot with one in his hands for quite a while but he never eats it. I have to be careful not to let him see me picking or digging anything up as he does the same. He got the hoe out this morning.

I've sent Faire's ma gazine so I hope you will get it a bit quicker than last time. I don't think somehow love that it will take you long to free yourself from army routine once you get home. I only hope you will be able to keep my routine up, you may find it harder.

Well love, it's blackout time 10.50 and I don't want to put the blinds down so I'll say goodnight, sweet dreams.

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8th August 1944

9th August 1944

Well love we have passed the first year and I hope and pray we shall be able to spend your next birthday together, some people say you can get used to being apart but not so me, there's not an hour passes when I don't mention you name or think of you love and I know the kiddies are as eager to see their daddy as I am. Even young Michael points to your photo and I bet he won't be long before he knows you when you get home.

We have been to Abbey Park and I have just got the kiddies off to bed and Mabel and family have gone, it seems love that I only get one letter a week off, I don't know why.

I have heard from Mrs Dickinson and she is coming next weekend so will let you know how we get on and hope as well as you two do. I also hope the kiddies behave especially Keith. 

They have the wireless on next door and it's the forces hymn singing which always makes me think of you love. I've been laughing this weekend about you saying take Sheila out each time a plane comes over as I should do nothing else, there's been a constant stream the last few days, some going out and some returning the sky is full with them when a big raid is on.

The nights are drawing in a bit now love have you heard we are keeping the extra hour on until September. I'm pleased to say Sheila is getting better about the planes she has been out of doors quite a bit the last few days, it's perhaps now Keith's at home.

Keith is now in Miss. Allsop's and he has to sit with his arms behind now instead of folding them, he has to take his pencil case when they start back.

Edie is coming tomorrow, well she said she might do, not very thoughtful when I might have had a chance to go out for the day. I'm pleased to say Harry is getting on nicely but is still on the danger list.

I had to change Michael's gas mask yesterday. Bernice and I went up on the car and Mabel came to the tower with the kiddies to meet us. I can hardly believe it's August week, don't get too drunk on your birthday love, have one for me.

Mabel had her airmail so I expect you will be hearing from her again soon. Bernice is writing when she's finished, she had a very good character from school and also won the prize for the most popular girl (valued at 10/-).

You are always talking about your fruit, our grapes are 30/-  a lb (£1.50 !!!) and peaches are now quite cheap at 2/-(10p) each, they had been up to 10/- (50p) each. Plums and apples are just coming in.

I went to see the painter again and he said he would come in about two weeks so I hope we will be looking smart by the time you arrive. Thanks for the money you are sending love, I don't quite know yet what I shall do with it. I've been looking to see if I have enough clothing coupons to buy some new curtains but I doubt it, we have to give coupons for towels but housewives don't get any extra.

It has been like real summer the last two days but I haven't much hope of it holding out.

Well love I received your photo's this morning, they are not so good as your last ones, you look fat on these. Michael said "daddy" when he saw them and Keith and Sheila said they were very nice. I had to take the one off Michael as he had got the print off with wet kisses. They are all able to play in the sun again and you should have seen Michael John, he keeps going amongst the fine coal slack and looked as if he had black gloves on, he's a tough guy. I gather Cpl. D. is the outside fellow, the little one in the middle looks OK. Well I had better get the bed made in case Edie comes.

Cheerio love for now I'll try and get another one off this week. Keith said this morning " I wish daddy would get wounded and then he would be able to come home"

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13th August 1944 

Well love after a very busy week I find I can write a few lines to my husband. Last Monday Edie and her two evacuees came for the day. Tuesday, Mabel, Harry and Bernice, Keith, Sheila and Michael and myself all went to Groby pool. We took the pram and walked it. After dinner Kath, Ronnie, Nora, Alf, Billy, John , Peggy and Les turned up and we had a nice day. Nora bought the kiddies back of the bus and put Sheila to bed. and we, Mabel Alf and I pushed Michael. On Wednesday, Gladys and the boys came down for the day and Thursday I had to work like you know what to get ready for Mrs. Dickenson. Still I managed it but was thankful to get into bed. I met my visitor at 3.45 Friday and we had quite a nice weekend together. The children got on well together so did the mothers. There was plenty of chin wagging and I bet your ears were burning. 

We took out tea on the park on Saturday afternoon and the kiddies were all ready to go to bed by  the time we got home.  Well love I had to finish there and go to bed as Keith kept calling  and as it was getting dark I didn't want him to get nervy as I've had a full house tonight. Mabel, Mam, Norah, Alf, Eric, Ron, John, Bernice. I'll try to get it finished. Your mother has just gone to bed and wishes you goodnight. By the way we all wished you a happy birthday while we were at Groby. Oliver is 21 tomorrow. I've sent a card to him. Your son Michael is a lad for love. He was cuddling June Dickenson. Sometimes she wasn't much for it but when she was he was ahing and she was cooing, they sounded like a couple of doves. It was funny to see but he didn't like me to hold her. 

Tonight Sheila had her vest off to go to bed and Michael made a dive for her tummy and was loving her and then he would smack he bottom and he is for ever pulling her ribbons off. You'll have a tough son to come home to but a sweet loveable one.

Bernice, Keith and myself are going to the pictures tomorrow afternoon and granny is playing nursemaid. She seems to be keeping better again lately and I hope the weather stays good so he stay here will do her some good. I thought I might get a letter today. The last one was dated the 31st. Perhaps there will be one tomorrow. I'm afraid I've kept you waiting longer than ever this time. You mention in your letter the egg fruit that tastes like mushrooms. Don't you remember me buying you one from Jewsburys and we couldn't eat it as it tasted like some sort of herb. Just rake your memory out a bit. 

You know love the more I look at the latest photo the more I like it. Michael took them out of my bag on the way home this afternoon and was saying daddy, daddy and then he gave you a big kiss. I'm longing to show this Michael to you. Mrs Dickenson thought the kiddies were very sturdy. There is a lot of guessing going on as regards the end of the war, some weeks, some months but I'm afraid my hopes are not very high just yet. When they announce it on the wireless that will be the time for me to look eagerly for you to come home. 

Keith has been a very good boy these last few days. I think he gets more rest when he doesn't sleep with Sheila as she is always kicking her legs over the top of the bedclothes. She is lovely and brown with this spell of Summer weather Keith has made a new use for his wood and boxes, it's peep shows these days. Michael , Sheila and John sit on a plank watching the show. Harry N is getting on well and Tom is back on army convalescent and expecting 7 days leave but thinks he is for France after that. I think they must have used Penicillin as it has done some good work for the wounded men. 

Well love paper is short so I'll say goodnight. Your loving wife

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19th August 1944

It's a very wet day today after quite a spell of summer weather. The kiddies are in the kitchen playing at shops with all the shoes they can find, Michael has to view and he's upsetting Keith's shop. Bernice is staying here today and starts at Adderleys on Monday.

I would have loved you to have seen them yesterday with uncle Bill playing at bubbles. I think Bill was sorry when he had to leave. He filled some with smoke and one burst on Sheila's nose and all the smoke went in her face, she wasn't too keen at that. Bill was after my soap flakes, I told him I hadn't got any as they were rationed and he called me all the skinny nose things he knew. After he had been and helped himself to them he said "  now we'll show you what real soap bubbles should be like, they were good and the weather was just right as quite a few were floating around the garden at the same time.

I have bottled a few plums and hope to do a few more so that we will be able to have a fruit pie when you come home.

Well love I've had to leave this and now I will add a bit more if I can while Michael is rolling around me and Keith and Sheila. Well love it was hopeless for a few minutes but they are now on Granny's bed with a book so I'll try to add a few more lines.

Mabel seems to think I have lost all my patience as she smiled as I told her you didn't know how I kept my patience, it gets less and less.

I saw the doctor on Wednesday and he put some more acid on an area of my arm, it's very sore today, he was quite pleased with the progress.

Another break and the kiddies are in bed.

This lousy pen I'll have to try another nib. Well love I'm alright at last and I'll try to concentrate on this letter and get it of tonight.

We've had another wet day but at least the news is good we have just heard they have crossed a part of the Rhine. 

Your mam wasn't very well one night but she feels a little better now and I hope her stay here will do here a bit of good. Nora and Alf have just come up so this letter might still be patchy.

I've pickled five jars of onions and I hope you are not too long in claiming your share. Michael has behaved himself today and used his jerimy in the proper way. I have had a time with him the last few nights and of course he has had some smacks and his mother has said a few unprintable words.

Kath hadn't heard from Jack T for over a month but she had a letter from him yesterday and he's quite well and had been on leave to Jerusalem, she thought maybe he had moved up a bit and landed in the new invasion, by the way when is your leave due.

Your uncle Osbornes boy has been very badly burnt. He was in a tank which received a direct hit. He jumped out but in parts he is burnt to the bone. He's in England now.

Bill and Madge have been to Buckby and showed them yours and the kiddies photos and they all send their best wishes to you. I haven't heard from Mrs Dickenson since she went back and I think I had better write to Phyllis and see if we are supposed to be going there for the last week of the holidays. Mrs Brown has got a dog and they have named it 'Sailor'

I understand from Mrs D that you and Dick work together, one interviewing and the other giving a test for employment, is this correct.

I shall be glad when it's all finished and done with love I get heartily sick of this day to day existence with its trials and blackout and shall be glad when we can like you say take our share with the kiddies. Madge cut my hair for me. I had let it grow, but it was such a trouble curling it at night and losing half my sleep with the curlers sticking in me that I thought it better off. It's the first time I have had it cut since you went away.

Keith went to see Harry Q at work with Bernice and quite enjoyed seeing stockings floating about and wheels and things working. He went to see George Formby in 'Bell Bottom George' with John and the evacuee. There was a ghostly picture on with it but it didn't scare him, his nerves seem much better lately. Sheila is getting better too so my troubles are over (some hope).

 I sent a cable off this morning so let me know how long it takes won't you. I was hoping I would have a letter this morning, but no luck. I want to post this letter now or you never will get it as I seem to have been ages writing it. I don't think it will be so long now love before we see each other again. Until then all our love to you.

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.24th August 1944

It is now seven o'clock and Keith is patiently waiting for his comic to arrive but as it is raining very fast I am afraid he is going to be unlucky. Sheila and Michael are safely tucked up in bed. We have had rain for four days and the last two have been a little brighter but it started to rain again after five and it looks as if it is here for the night.

Keith has written an airgraph to you tonight. He has been going on tram rides all by himself. ( I was seven years old at this time) He went on a circular from Groby Road to Groby Road and then he decided   that he would take a number 4 and go to Lillians. She wasn't in but her mother was but Keith would not stay for tea.

He's a bit good finding his way up there and now he's planning where to go tomorrow.

I knocked my leg three weeks ago and it did not heal so I went to see Dr. Mann on Monday with it. Of course it had to be my bad luck and he said a varicose vein was the reason for it not healing quickly. I have to bath it with Epsom salts and don't they sting. He gave me some other lotion to put on after and it seems a bit better today.

To make it worse I have a sore place at the top of my arm where the doctor treated it so I feel a poor little soul this morning and would love to have stayed in bed. I suppose I shall get over it so don't worry too much about me.

I was pleased to get your letter of the 16th and the £10 you sent. Thanks very much now I can't get out to spend it. I gave 10/- to our mother to start with. I hope you don't mind too much.

The painter hasn't turned up yet but I'm changing my mind about the colours. I don't know whether to have it cream and green or light oak grained but I hope he doesn't forget me again or I shall think that he doesn't want the job.

The news is still good. I expect the landings from Italy made you fairly busy. They will soon be pushing you into France along with the rest.

The rain has stopped now but Keith has had to go to bed without his comic. Michael keeps crying, his teeth must be bothering him but I wish he would shut up so I can bathe my leg again.

Sheila took some things off Michael this morning and I told her she must give them back to him so she threw them at him saying 'There, Mardy bum'  Michael makes no more to do then throws them back at her as hard as he could and with a mouthful of words which sounded as though they ended in 'bum'. He can stick up for himself and even sets about Keith if he teases him.

I'm afraid I shall have to go up and see him, he is yelling his head off

I hope you are getting plenty of football as you won't be able to play when you get home as I shall want Saturday afternoons free. You seem to be very lucky with your picture recently. Bette Davis is on at the 'Fosse' and I might ask Harry if he will have Michael and Sheila. I see you will be able to swim by the time you get home so you
will be able to teach Keith and Sheila.

Well I've had to fetch Michael down out of his bed so I'll have to say goodnight to

Your loving wife

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August 27th 1944

I guess you will be surprised by getting three letters in one week from me but I thought I would try and get this off before I go on my holidays tomorrow.

I wasn't going to go to Phyllis's on account of my leg being sore and needing attention but she came to see me on Saturday and said it would be alright and I might be able to rest it more, so off I go tomorrow at 5pm. I hope the weather holds as it has been nice the last day or two.

I don't suppose you could manage to get some leave and a plane to come home while I rest my leg as Dr Mann said the best way to get it better is rest but he said that was out of the question with three children. He went away yesterday so I thought I'd better see him on Friday. He has changed the lotion and I'm to use it when it begins to heal. 

I think it has started to heal but it gives me jippo and it's a bit of a job to get about. Keith went on in front to your mothers on Friday and said "mummy's coming, she's like a wobbly old witch" your children certainly do flatter me.

Keith has been a very good boy and goes errands for me without any trouble, he has been another car ride today. I shall make him start Sunday School next week he doesn't want to but he doesn't know what to do with himself on a Sunday afternoon.

Gladys has been up this afternoon she went to see Tom a fortnight ago, he's about OK again but there is some shrapnel in his leg, still Ernie has some still in his leg and he's back with a unit again, he's back up north.

Have you heard from Bob yet I owe him and Percy a letter but I can't get envelopes for love or money. I also had a letter from Jack Richardson a while ago and I forgot to answer it, have you heard from him lately.

I think I will get off to bed now love and try to finish this in the morning sweet dreams and goodnight love.

Keith woke up once and said "oh I've been dreaming daddy was home and now he's not."

Well love it's Tuesday and I am at Phyllis's I was pleased to get your letter dated the 21st before I left yesterday. I suppose Mrs D mentioned my leg. I hadn't mentioned it before as I didn't want you to worry and I thought it would clear up.

You sound as if you had a good feed. I hope your head wasn't spinning when you had finished. I can see I will have to learn luxury cooking for Christmas else you will be rushing back to sunny Italy.

The picture 'Madame Buivrie' has just been on in town so you are getting the films through fairly quickly. I should like to see the film of the church but the few times I go I doubt if I would be lucky enough to see it. I am pleased to hear you have heard from Win and Arthur. Phyllis and Wilf send you their best wishes.

Keith has gone off with Peter (13) so I hope they don't get into mischief.

Well love the war news is good and it looks as if Germany has had it. I hope they will soon pack up and save a lot more lives. I'll say goodnight as I want to catch the only post from here.

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5th September 1944

I thought I might get a letter today but no luck, it's nine days since I heard except for the Union Jack I received the other day. It was very interesting especially where you are staying.  Keith and Sheila received their letters with a lot of joy and I've sent Bill the one for him. Sheila had to moan a bit about her letter. Can you imagine her pouting and saying 'Ain't fair, Keith's letter is longer than mine'. Keith has started back to school and he likes his new class teacher. They have been having History today and his reading book has Grace Darling, Pied piper, Robinson Crusoe etc in it. I wish they would teach him how to walk and save his shoes a bit but I don't think it's his fault altogether as the shoes are made of rubbish. They keep telling us in the paper that the shoes we get are good but it's all my eye like a lot of other things. Still the war news is good and we are at Jerry's back door. I wonder how he likes it.

Keith had a good hiding the other night as he bit a hole in the bed sheet bigger than half a crown then he came home with his sole of his best shoes hanging off. I can't keep pace with him. It's time this war was over so you can take him in hand but I hope it's firmer than it was as he needs it.

Well love, I'm glad to say that my stay at Phyliss's did my leg some good as it's healing. I hope being on it again this week doesn't start it up again. It has been very painful and is not too bad now except when I put on a new dressing. I shall see the doctor next week if he is back from his holidays. We all enjoyed ourself last week and Phyllis made us very comfortable.

Percy sent the kiddies a box of shells this week. He's keeping OK and is still in England. Edies husband is still in hospital as they were not satisfied with the X ray. Tom was home on 24 hours leave last weekend and is getting on alright. Ernie's wife has got two rooms now at Coalville. She had her baby about the same time as Peggy. Jack called in to see me this morning. He is on 9 days leave. It's over six months since he came home.

Well love it's now Wednesday afternoon and I've had your letter dated the 29th. You are as bad as me leaving a letter for eight days. Mam and Ethel have been up today. Ethel met Edith Foulds in a Narborough hotel and she got talking as she thought she knew Ethel. It came out she worked at Faires and knew me of course and then she had the sauce to say 'Oh I nearly married Eric what do you say to that ' I must add that she was with a Yank and he had previously told Ethel that she was his wife. Just Edith. I think Cliff is abroad.

I don't think I said that Sheila is starting school this holiday. She isn't four until December and she plays well with Michael so I'll let her go at Easter. Keith has been gardening at school this afternoon and he has been down to the butchers for me. Mam hasn't been too well this past week but says she feels better today. I don't know about me eating all the pickled onions but your daughter is very fond of them. One jar has almost gone. I shall go to the Infirmary tomorrow all being well. I haven't been for three weeks. I have made Sheila a little kilt for when the weather gets cold. I haven't spent any of the money which you seen yet as I haven't been out much. 

Well love, Mam is going to take this letter to the post for me so I'll say goodnight. Your loving wife. 

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10th September 1944

Well love I must apologise for saying it took you eight days to write as I have one dated the next day September 6th and I had another yesterday afternoon dated September 3rd. not bad three in one week.

I'm glad the news has bucked you all up, so it has had the same effect here at home especially the blackout news, this looks almost blackout as I can't find my pen anywhere.  I bet Keith has had it somewhere and  I can't use the other one so John S has just lent me this fountain pen but I'm not much for it.

Keith has gone to Sunday school and Sheila and Michael are in bed so I thought I'd get this off while peace reigns. I often wonder if you can realize the noise you will be coming home to. Still I don't think it will worry you too much except when the football results are being announced on the radio. You'll have to dump them in the other room then or outside.

I went to the Tudor last night with Mabel and Mrs. Langdale to see "Lassie Come Home". I enjoyed it, Bernice took the kiddies up home and put them to bed for me, she doesn't finish work until 5pm on Saturday and we had to go and leave them with Harry and as soon as Bernice got in Michael did his bis in his pants so she had a bit of cleaning up to do, it was my fault though as I had forgotten to hold him out.

Keith went to the Tudor by himself on Thursday night, doesn't he grow up. I had to smile at you saying you would be worried, so was Mabel. Still Keith has got plenty of sense when he likes to use it, he has been asking me about History and Geography and Syllables so you had better get prepared. I read the airgraph to Keith that you sent to John and you told him to be a good 'scolar'.

I would have been seven years old at this time. It is a sign of how much freedom children could be given in the past. I also managed to travel alone on the Tram car routes. 

My leg is sore but not quite so bad and the place is healing slowly, it makes me lose a bit of sleep some nights,  I hope it gets better for those dances you are going to take me too. You don't say who is going to have our family for us. I met Gladys Wain on Friday night, I said I was going to 'Faires' Saturday so she said " If it's a job for you and the kiddies I'll get them to bring it for you. I wonder if they will for it will save quite a few nasty journeys in the winter.

We've just had tea now and I've just washed up and waiting to hear the six o'clock news. Your mother and Mabel came up this afternoon, she is about her old self again.  Peggy and Les have gone to Bills for the weekend. Bernice has just come up and we are going to take the family for a little walk if no one else turns up.

Michael is trying to blow a matchbox out. I should have loved you to see him blowing a dandelion his cheeks all puffed out. He did look a little dumpling.

I bought myself a new pair of slippers out of your gift and unless I buy some new curtains I might bank it until after the war. I bought Michael a pair of shoes and had to pay 7/6d for them. I hope you manage a good wage after this lot.

Keith has been another tram ride today, he found 2/6d in one of his books, so I told him he could have it. He counted it out in pennies and worked out how many tram rides he could have. Michael has just brought me his money box and a spoon to get the penny out. This lad knows what he wants.

The news is at a standstill just now while they get ready for the last battle, lets hope it won't be too drawn out and not cost too many lives.

Well love I'll say goodnight as the family is getting impatient. All our love to you and God bless you.

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21st September 1944

Dear Eric,

I was very pleased to get your letters dated 8th and 12th with the photo but I prefer the last one. Keith and Sheila were fighting. 'let me see daddy'. Michael points to the mantelpiece and says 'daddy' when we ask where you are.  I don't think it will take him long to get to know you, love.

I have been getting Mr. S's dinner this week as Mrs. S had gone to London for a fortnight but she came back today.  I think it got a bit too hot ! There's a lot of evacuees gone back but are sorry they have done so.

I do wish it was all over. I just had the news on but lately all I seem to hear is that it is finished. I don't think that I can keep my chin up any longer. It's twelve months tomorrow since I had your first letter from abroad, twelve months too long.

Well love I took the kiddies as far as Blackbird road to see the lights on Sunday night. It did seem a bit queer to see the lighted windows and the vicar of St. Leonards had every window in the house lit up. It's nice not to have to get up to the dark kitchen every morning but it's funny how conscious you feel about the pantry door opening too wide and letting the light shine out.

By the way, I've bottled some tomatoes for you when you come home. Well love paper is getting short so I'll say goodnight once more, Goodnight love,

Your loving wife and family.

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25th September 1944

I was pleased to get your airmail dated 16th today. It cheered me up a little as I'm feeling very miserable today after only having had four hours sleep. It's this leg, it was so painful last night, I tossed and turned until 1.45 and then decided it was hopeless to try and get to sleep so I went downstairs and fetched a book. I thought I'd read myself to sleep. I'd read quite a bit before I finally went off.

I went to see the doctor on Friday. He didn't say much but has changed the lotion to an ointment which I fetched this morning so I shall put some on after I've got Keith to bed. He upset us all yesterday. He didn't come home from school and I thought that he had stayed at Nora's for his tea but when it got to 6 o/clock I began to get alarmed. Bernice was here so we gave him until half past and then she went to Nora's to see if he was there. He wasn't and so she said she would see if he was at Mrs.S's and there he was all the time having his tea. I did feel wild about it as I'd had all sorts of thoughts and Mabel, Nora and your Mam were all worried. I wish this war would end and let you come home. I feel I can't stand much more of the worry. I shall be old and haggard before you get here

Well it seems love as though I've got a bit of worry off my chest . I know I should not worry you about things you can't help with but I'm not the kind to suffer in silence. There is one thing
though, love. The kiddies are alright except that Keith is very tiresome with his likes and dislikes and he is very disobedient. The vicar asked the children in church yesterday what happens to the selfish and the unkind and Keith put his hand up. The vicar asked him and he said "They go to prison". The vicar said "Oh no, not that" but it does show that he listens. Keith has just said "Tell dad standard 1A is very nice" He made a nature book and wanted to know if you did nature at school. By the way   love, isn't scolar spelt scholar or am I wrong ?.

You are lucky to get a shower, I don't think I have had a proper bath for a month, I just don't fancy getting in with this leg and can hardly be half in and half out. It's my left arm and my left leg so I think I had better cut the bad half off don't you ?

Well that's Keith off to bed and the other two are sleeping peacefully. I went to see 'This happy breed' on Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was typical of scenes in any house and it made me feel sad when the men were coming home. Ethel said if there was any picture I would like to see to let her know and she will have the kiddies again.

Well love, I've got to do last week's ironing after I've finished this letter. On second thoughts, I'll leave it untiltomorrow ! Oliver is here for a few days and I haven't seen him yet but I understand he is well. I've had Faire Brothers magazine. Had I told you that the kiddies' photo is not in this issue ? I get my Money alright by Gladys Wain, it saves me that drag at least.

Michael has had his red suit on and he does look a big boy in it. He begins to say odd words now such as "mine" when anyone is twisting him for something. By the way, Sheila wants you to bring her a bunny, a doll, a pram and a motor car. Well love it's the end once more, look after yourself and one day we shall be seeing each other again

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