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1st October 1944 4th October 1944 14th October 1944 23rd October 1944
29th October 1944 5th November 1944 10th November 1944 23rd November 1944
27th November 1944 2nd December 1944 10th December 1944 16th December 1944
21st December 1944 24th December 1944 * *
October 1st 1944

Well love I'll make a start at any rate but I don't know if it will get finished this afternoon as Sheila and Michael are knocking around, Michael on my right and keeps bumping my hand and Sheila busily asking questions on my left, she wants to know what I am saying to you and I've told her I was telling daddy what a cheeky little girl she's getting. 

Michael gets an imp, while my back was turned at dinnertime he was pinching the sugar off my pudding and he's always nipping bits off Keith's plate. He fell out of his pram yesterday and made his nose bleed.

I'm pleased to say that my leg is much easier with the new ointment the doctor gave me and I have had a better sleep with it. I went to see Dr. Airey on Wednesday and after he had seen the reaction from the last dose he gave me and I also told him about the leg he said I had had enough to last me a little while and so gave me a miss for another month, so life looks a bit brighter again apart from the fact that the end of the war seems farther away that ever again.

Keith has been helping me to straighten the garden a bit as I haven't done anything for weeks but yesterday I bought a hand fork and trowel and we did a bit of weeding out the back after I had put Sheila and Michael to bed (6.20pm) it gets dark just after seven now  so it doesn't leave much time.

Keith has gone to Sunday school after a lot of grumbling he gets a little devil at times as he is so awkward and lazy. I think it's now when he needs you but with a firm hand.

I had your letter dated the 20th last Tuesday. I wish I could have been with you on your trip. I could just do with a garden of meditation. I am longing to see the presents you have sent us, I bet it's lovely sewing. I hope the nuts arrive in good time too.

Sheila seems to have got over her nervousness of aeroplanes it's a good job as we seem to have a lot lately.

I have been having some servicemen to see me lately, the neighbours will be saying things about me when you come home love, in the last fortnight I have had Bob, Tom, Jack, Oliver and Percy. They have all been on leave.

I saw your mam on Friday as usual and she was alright, I don't know if Mabel will bring her up this afternoon. Bernice came in this morning and said " I think I will come up here for tea as we have got figs" I said bad luck so have we!, but she still might come. You wouldn't know her love , she has grown into quite a young lady.

Michael has come up on my knee he seems a bit tired, he went out this morning and was asleep when he came home but I don't know how much sleep he had. There's one thing he will be ready for bed early.

It's very cold today and it keeps raining on and off. I hear the weather isn't too good in Italy. I heard on the wireless at dinner that Calais had fallen so that will help.

You just miss the extra 7/-  a week the men are getting for three years service, but still I hope you don't get it, I want you home before then.

I don't think you will want to nip down into Woodgate for some chips love for they are terrible as it has changed hands. I suppose now Mrs. Mason will have to make them for you. I made the kiddies a few fritters for their tea the other day.

Have you heard from Jack Richardson lately. I never answered the letter I had ages ago. I was telling Keith something you had asked in a letter and he said " did he put a question mark after it" he said after, it was a question mammy so you had better watch your step when you write to him.

Well love that's all for now so all my love to you and that day will surely come soon.

4th October 1944

I was pleased to get you airgraph this morning and received your airmail dated the 26th onMonday. Not bad only 6 days. I am pleased to hear that you are still keeping OK and it was funny you should say about passing the kitchen window as that is the way I picture you most and I'm longing for the time I can look up and see you again. Michael and Sheila were in bed before six tonight as they hadn't had any sleep today and seemed a bit cross. 

Keith and I have just had a game of 'Sorry' and now he has gone to bed. I've started him on malt and oil again. I'm taking mine again as I can't afford to be ill and there seems such a lot of illness about. Billy came home from school with  bad head and sickness and Nora had to send for the doctor in the evening as he had coughed quite a bit of blood up and he had got a temperature. Dr. Mann called and he was pleased Nora had fetched him. He had got a germ but he couldn't quite locate it. He thought it might be meningitis or pneumonia. He called the next morning and said he wasn't so worried as it was septomenia of the catarrhal passage. I don't know if my spelling is right. It doesn't seem it to me. He was going to see Billy again today but I haven't heard anything.

Mrs. Brown isn't well , she has had a swelling in her neck for a fortnight and been feeling poorly and then her throat was so bad inside this week that when she went to the doctor he took a swab. This morning he called to tell her that the swab was negative but the other doctor wasn't satisfied and had called for another swab and she is waiting to hear from him again. He is coming to see
her again tomorrow, he says it looks like a septic throat. John Quinn has been away from school since August holiday and has had jaundice and it has pulled him down proper badly.

Is there anything which you need sending as parcels for Christmas are being sent now or are you hoping to get home this year ?I see in tonight's paper that they are giving the chaps abroad a leave before sending them to the far east when Hitler is finished. The Air force gave a good account of themselves yesterday, I see, it's a pity they can't flood the whole of Germany and be done with the race altogether. 

I sent a postcard to the painter on Monday and so far haven't heard from him. A chap put his card through the door the other day. He seems to do anything including painting and I feel inclined to give him the job but I don't want to throw the money away on a cheap job. I also answered an advert about the dolls house for Sheila but I haven't heard anything from that. I seem a bit unlucky. I had the sweep today just after seven and felt a bit tired. I shall hear the news and then go to bed.

I have finished part of my satin undies but it's a bit tight. I shall put longer straps on it and if it still doesn't fit I shall give it to Gladys for a Christmas present. It was Mam's birthday yesterday. Your son Michael gets a turn. He climbs on the shelter takes his toys and just sits there playing. Then he will go to your photo and kiss it and da da it. He can say raining and gets disgusted if his hair gets some rain on it. 

Keith told me to tell you he was sending a big sheet of all sorts of things when he had finished it. He said today that school was better every day. I think he is more interested now that he is ding nature, English, history and geography. I'll have my supper now and finish this in the morning. I shall have some Bovril and a cheese sandwich.

I almost forgot to tell you we now have the street lights on in our street and it does make a difference. They were altered on Monday but the kiddies didn't see them but I waited upstairs with them on Tuesday until they came on and they saw them out of the window. They were quite thrilled about it so was mammy. 

Well I had better say goodnight as I am a busy woman and there is work to do tomorrow.

14th October l944

I was very pleased to get your airmail dated 3rd April this morning, quite a record eh love ?. So now the kids are off to sleep and I'm sitting in front of the fire and the wind is howling outside. It's almost nine o'clock. I have a bit of a headache, I think it is indigestion as it's a sick headache, it must have been the fish and chips and it may have been too much company this afternoon. 

Mam came as usual, she didn't seem very well and Aggie came as well and then Billy came up but Sheila and Michael had gone to bed and Mrs. S came in. What do you think of her, yesterday she told me they had had forty pounds of tomatoes off their plants and she has never given me a smell and after all the stuff she has had off our garden, it makes me sick. I'll see she never gets anything else, tomatoes are in short sup ly here.

I'm sorry to say Mrs. Brown and Beryl have had to go into hospital for observation as their throats were very bad. Mrs. Woodcock has Christine in bed too with a bad throat. I went across just after five today and she was in a mess. The doctor had ordered some M & B tablets and she couldn't get out to fetch them so I stayed with the kiddies while she went and she was very relieved. We cannot do as much as we should like with having young ones ourselves and other folks don't bother theirselves about us. They have their husbands, money and everything, why should they trouble. 

Keith gets very excited about school these days. He has been learning all about Holland and they are making a model of it now. He said something about writing a composition about it and if it was good the teacher was sending it to the daddies who were away.

Just had to leave off to look after myself personally. Probably the reason for the headache.  Keith made me smile when he came home and said the capital of Belgium was Brussells and Berlin is the capital of France, but you can see he is learning. You had better get home before he gets awkward questions. He went to see 'Melody Inn' with his Auntie Mabel on Saturdays and liked it. Sheila is going to the Tudor with Bernice tomorrow afternoon to see 'Thousands Cheer' Peggy and Les came up last night and we had chips for supper. I thought of you while I was eating the fritters. 

Peggy and you mam have colds but they are a lot better now. We shall be going down on Friday, all being well. I gave the kiddies another bath last night as I had had a nice fire and the water was very hot. I washed Sheila and Michael in the sink though while Keith looked after himself upstairs. Sheila and Michael were playing about in their vests and Bernice said I bet their Dad would like to see them now, they looked grand after their bath. Sheila had a cup of Bovril and it was half past ten before they went to sleep. She smelt the chips of course and had a couple. I find all sorts of books in her bed the next morning and my photo. She sleeps in the bedroom over the kitchen and Keith is with me in our bed and Michael is in the cot, more or less.

What does the blue triangle stand for on the air mails ?  Well love, my leg is certainly easier but it shows no sign of healing yet. Aggie cheered me up today and said Ernie's was three years healing so perhaps love when you come home, I shall be able to have a fortnight in bed and get it over quick. Do you think you could manage the children for a time. It's different to one you know, love. I mowed the back lawn last night just to keep it short for the winter. I have only got to do my winter digging and dry the bean seeds and then I can hand it over to you. Well it's bedtime once more love and time to say goodnight. I have to bar the back door up now with Keith's bits of wood as I can't find the key, it will turn up one day

23rd October 1944

Well love I've sent off the photo today so you should get it about Xmas. It's alright but I think I look fine fat and forty.. For one thing I look a bit scalped. I know I haven't much hair but he took my photo the opposite to the way I part my hair and it makes it look worse than ever. Still I though that I had better send it as I don't suppose I shall have another done. At least I'm smiling. 

Michael received his airgraph today and was pleased with the quack quack. I was pleased to get your airmail dated 17th on Sat as you say we do get our letters quickly these days.. According to some prophet the war should be over tomorrow so here's hoping (not much)

Well love it's now Tuesday. I felt too tired last night to write. I don't feel any better tonight as I have been washing today and the weather has looked threatening but has managed to keep fine. I've just washed the family and put Michael in Sheila's bed for the first time but I'm afraid he will be in his cot before I've finished this letter

Bernice has just been in and likes my photo and says you will. I have written after a dolls pram again and I hope I'm lucky this time. I had a letter from Phyllis this morning and she said Wilf had got a doll for Sheila for Christmas.I have to get a bracelet for her. I shall have to begin my Christmas shopping as there is only nine weeks now and it's quite a job trying to get a decent toy. I wish I could get a Devil among the Tailors for Keith.

I've just put Michael in his cot and they have all had a piece of bread. My leg is aching tonight. I expect I've been on it too much. It makes me feel like an old woman. Sheila went to Auntie Noras for tea and then went to church at night with the family and I had quite a houseful when they all came home, Nor , Alf, Billy, Eric, Mabel,  Bernice, Peggy, Les, Winnie & Iris were there as well.
On Monday Sheila said 'That boy laughed at me in church' I asked he which boy and she said solemnly 'That boy Eric' You can't help laughing at some of the things she says. She gave me a kiss when I put her to bed on Sunday and they had all been asking for one. When she gave it to me she said 'That's the only one I've got and don't give it to them.'

I've got to see Dr. Airey tomorrow again. I think he will be pleased with how my arm looks. Les is coming up on Friday to look after the Family and Peggy and I are going to see if I can find anything suitable for my curtains. Les came up last week and mended the kid's barrows for them. Michael loves that little one you bought for Keith. He plays with Keith and Sheila and tries to do everything they do. He went up and down the stairs this morning and he gets on top of the shelter and makes a fuss of your photo. You'll soon get aquainted with him, never fear.

I think the family are having a concert, Sheila is singing 'you are my sunshine'. We don't seem to be waking very early these mornings. Beryl has come home but Mrs. Brown is still in hospital as she is a carrier, it's a bit of a game isn't it ?

Have you ever had an ordinary letter by air. I wondered if you might get the photo quicker. Well love this letter seems a bit mixed up but I know you understand I have the family keep buzzing in. Michael is still calling me and it's nine o'clock. I get a bit bored in the evenings and am often in bed by ten. Well the war didn't end today worse luck, but I suppose it will one of these days. I hope you are fighting fit with all the exercise you are getting. All our love.

29th October 1944

Well love Sheila and Michael are in bed once more and Keith is sprawled over the carpet writing a letter to you. Bill and Madge came in this morning for a few minutes and had a look at Keith's model of Holland. Bill thought it was pretty good.

We are getting some awful weather at the moment, it does nothing but rain and rain and rain, everything is soaking, we have all got colds, mine seems worse today. I thought I had  managed to knock it off but it still sticks. I had my arm treated on Wednesday and that is very sore and my leg seems to be breaking out in another place as well so of course I don't feel very happy.

Dr Mann is in the infirmary with a poisoned finger so it means I shall have to go to Dr Badonoch. Peggy is a bit worried in case she has to see him as she has only four weeks to go now. We fetched the cot out we had for Michael last night, Les carried it down to Mabels and they are going to freshen it up. Mabel doesn't intend to be caught napping, she has the front room all ready to receive the new baby, she said "we don't want any more games like we had with Michael".

We had egg and chips for dinner on Friday we only get about one egg a month now and as I hadn't much fat I had to do a few chips at a time. Keith came up with his plate "please more chips" so he had them. Miss Sheila then comes up with her plate "more eggs please" as calm and serious as you like, I said you can't have more eggs and she said " I can eat two". Of course mine was cooking and she said she could have a piece of that. At the finish she cleaned Keith's plate up with a bit of bread. I would have loved you to have seen her face.

On Friday I went into town with Peggy and after going in a dozen shops we went to Herrington and managed to get some curtain material from there but they didn't make them up so we asked at Morgan Squires and  they are going to make them for me. So love I will have some new curtains at last.

I told you I asked Perry about the painting  three weeks ago but he hadn't been to see me so I wrote to some other chap. He came to give me an estimate on Friday and said £15. I told him that was more than I expected and he said the cost of the materials was about £3-15-0d and then there was the brushes, it made me think I was setting him up in business so I said I would let him know. Then yesterday Percy came up, I asked him how much and he said £10, I don't think I should get it done any cheaper and he did say he would burn it all off first, the other chap said he would sand it down a bit. I don't think he knew much about it so Percy is going to do it.

Madge thought Michael had grown since August. I do wish this war would hurry up and finish as I'm afraid they will have lost their pretty ways before you have a chance to see them, he says quite a few words now. Everyone liked my photo except Harry and he said "doesn't she look a B".

The potatoes are still in the ground but I don't feel like asking Harry, he knows they are there. There are not many so I shall be alright. Harry Q hasn't been across to do the raspberry canes yet.

Thanks love for my birthday present your mother and the kiddies were pleased with theirs too. Michael tried to eat his. I had two cards from my mothers and an airmail from you this morning. Mam slipped a note in to say Bob was seriously ill in Cambridge Hospital and had had an operation, she didn't say anymore. So I might miss the infirmary today and go and see what is wrong with him.

The tray set will come in very nicely for my dressing table, its made of fine material and the sewing is better than I do.

Well love Keith is waiting to post this and being a nuisance at the same time. You certainly have a lot of memories stored at the back of your head love, I shall never have to say you forget easily again love.

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5th November 1944

I thank you very much love for your birthday card I received today. It is a lovely rose, a pity they didn't colour it. I have been lucky this week as I have had two airmails, one airgraph and a birthday card. Keith had his airgraph too, thank you for it. He hasn't finished his letter to you yet.

 Well love once again I've got to write and say that I don't feel too well. I've had a cold all week and pains in my stomach. It's a good job you are not at home or I might begin to think things. My legs still continues to pain me.

 It's now Sunday night. I didn't feel like writing the other night. I don't now but as I have a few letters to write I thought that I had better get yours off first. I was awake the biggest part of the night with Sheila crying as she has another boil on her bottom and it is painful. I hope she is not going to have as many as last time. Michael was calling me in the night too. Keith got up and lit the fire but it went out and after making a mess all over the place and looking like a coal miner himself, his vest and pyjamas black, he left it and decided to get me a cup of tea. He made it with warm water and of course there was a trail of tea from the kitchen right upstairs.

 I never have come across someone so careless as he is. He had some orange juice after dinner and had to spill it all over the table cloth and the floor. He tried to wipe it up with a cloth that was wringing wet. I swear at him and tell him a hundred times a day how to do things but he never remembers where he puts things or anything that I tell him. I should think he is going to be a professor. I feel I have had enough of him. It's about time this war was over and let the men do a bit of worrying about awkward kids, I've had my share, pulling their socks straight, putting ties on, washing his hands as it takes him a week, brushing his hair, wiping and cleaning the mess up he makes. I suppose now love you know that I'm feeling properly fed up with this life.

 Nora took Keith to buy him some boots for me and have his glasses mended. Did I mention I have 10/- for you from the warden's post ? Sheila came down the stairs the other morning with Michael on her knee. You should have seen Mabel's face when I told her. Well love I haven't much more to say the kiddies are kicking up a good row in the other room so I had better go and see what that is all about, the wash up the dinner pots or it will be tea time. I'm sorry love that this is not a very cheery letter but I can't help it and you can't it's this endless war. I think it will be like the Chinese war.

 Goodnight love, all my love to you.

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10th November 1944 

I have been to see your mother as usual today and too Faire's magazine that I received this morning. It has some very interesting letters this time. No doubt because I know quite a lot of the writers including Mr. Eric Masons complete with photo and family group. My word you are a bit of a poet aren't you ? I see also that Capt. W Parker is in Normandy and there's a photo and letter from A Harriet.

I went to see Dr. Mann tonight. He didn't say much except that my leg needed rest before it would heal so you had better ask the army for compassionate leave or you will have an old woman for a wife when you do get home and here was I hoping to go to a dance in a week or twos time. Just my luck, you get all the breaks. Your last letter was 31st October and took six days to get here. Sheila got her airgraph alright and was very pleased as usual and she saw 'A soldier and a woman' at the Fosse today and she said I wish my daddy could come home. She seems to have missed you more just lately. She now wears a navy siren suit and looks quite chic in it. Last Monday at Mrs Keelings she wanted to wee so Mrs. K was trying to see if she could manage and without taking it off. Miss Sheila says 'Me can't do wee standing up, me not a boy'. She wanted to know the other night if you were going to sleep with her when you came home.

Ethel has been to a lawyer about her separation from Harry. He's tried to stab her twice. I think he must be off his head. She has told Mam she's coming here for a week or so. When you see homes messed up like that it makes you want to keep straight with each other as there seems no sense in ruining each others lives so just carry on love and we will have some happy times with our children to make up for this parting.

I have obtained a spanking pair of braces for you and I hope to get you a lighter too so you will have them shortly. The man came to measure for my curtains and I'm getting the material and letting them have it tomorrow. 22½ yards at 11/9 a yard and 2 2/3 rds coupons per yard. We get 48 coupons a year but I have managed pretty well and can spare that amount. Nora and Alf have bought the lads a grand billiard table for Christmas. Keith has broken Pat this week, that's all the toys done in now. He's worse with his things now than ever he was when he was tiny. He's the same with his clothes. I gave 17/6 for a pair of boots for him last week and he's come in every day with them mucked up and the toes scratched it makes me wonder if it's worth my while spending time on him.

Well love, it's now Sunday and I was pleased to get an airmail dated 4th November yesterday. I see I shall be busy cracking nuts at Christmas. Send your mother a box instead of me I'm sure she would be pleased. Keith has written his Christmas airgraph to you. I don't suppose you have my photograph yet. Bob will get his ticket when he is well again. He is going along nicely. Percy is able to see him every day as he had been transferred to Bob's place only a few days before.

Well I've been and paid for the curtain material so we shall have them up when you get home. Parry hasn't been to do the painting. The weather has been fine and cold for the past few days but now it is raining heavily. I've just finished washing up and getting the coal in. Shan't I be thankful when I can hand such jobs to you while I take a book and some sweets into the other room if the family will let me. Well I guess the end will come one of these days. Your loving wife.

23rd November 1944

I received you letter dated the 17th this morning and thought I would take a bit of time off thismorning and answer it as I don't feel like writing at nights lately. I see you keep your chin up love and it makes me a bit ashamed that I can't do the same, I feel miserable all day long and I have bitter thoughts about things and people in general and often wonder if live is worth it after all. 

I keep putting it down to my leg and losing sleep. On Saturday night I got up at 1.15am mashed a cup of tea and sat in the chair with my leg up and a cover over me and read a book until 2.30 Then my leg felt easier and I went to bed. It's like a very bad toothache and I just have to wait until it goes away. You ask me if Dr. Mann can tell me how long it's likely to be. I don't suppose he can. These things apparently have to take their course unless one can rest as he says and that I can't do with this war on.  I couldn't see the kiddies settling anywhere and I wouldn't ask anyone to have them. I think most people have forgotten there is a war on if it doesn't affect them personally.

Even Italian prisoners of war walk about the streets freely and the girls go arm in arm with them. It makes me sick to see them knowing that you are in their lousy country just because of them. I have sent the braces off but haven't got the lighter yet. I haven't even got a Christmas car  for you yet. I have received Sheila's birthday card and am saving it until the 5th.

Phyliss has been this morning and bought a doll for Sheila and a book for Michael and has left 2/6 for Keith. Keith is having his bike this week and he has sent a letter and a card which he has made last night and his Xmas airgraph is ready.

Well love I shall have to leave off now and see about some dinner which I don't suppose they will eat after all my trouble. By the way Mrs. Brown is still in the hospital. This is her seventh week and he throat doesn't seem to clear. She is a carrier and is quite well otherwise.. They are going to take her tonsils out and she will probably be home the week before Christmas. 

I am  going to have Ethel stay with me as she is getting a separation from Harry. I don't suppose you will be home before next winter, do you love ?

I have just had a rest and given the infirmary a rest this afternoon. I went yesterday to see Dr. Airey so it won't hurt. Nora came up on Tuesday and I went to the Savoy to see 'The White Cliffs of Dover'. It was very good but a sad picture. Michael, of course, had to cry all the night. He must have known I was going out. Some chance I have of going to a dance.

Well here I am a proper grouse. I know but I just cannot help it. In John Bull this week someone asks why we feel like this. He said it's due to the liver or digestion out of order or else self pity. It must be the lot with me !

Keith has just come home from school and as it's quite mild, though damp, Sheila and Michael are playing at tick with him. Michael has just been in and told me a long tale and I didn't know a word of it. Now he comes in all mad because Keith was lifting him and slipped. With that cleared up I'd better get the tea ready.God bless you love, look after yourself love for that sunny day. Goodnight
love, all my love, such as it is for you, Your loving wife and family.

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27th November 1944

I am pleased to tell you that Peggy had a 6/½ lb baby girl on Friday and is doing well. I went down on Friday Afternoon and felt sorry for her but a bit disappointed in Les, he was at home asleep. I asked Sheila what she thought of the new baby and she said 'not bad'. Keith said he was glad that our baby was a boy. Mabel just looked relieved.

The Kiddies had their Christmas cards this morning and send their thanks. Keith wanted to know what it said on them. Does it mean Happy Christmas. I expect we shall do the usual round. We have started by showing them to the baker. I though that I might get a letter today. They seem a bit longer in between unless you are not sending so many. I haven't had any nuts yet. We are getting some for Christmas and we had a pound of oranges each last week. Sheila loves them. I have been and fetched my curtains today. It seems a lot of money love but I thought that it would cheer the place up a bit. I had to draw the money out of the bank today so I was very low. Still we had £2.6.2.interest this year so we are not so badly off.

 Keith has got his bike. and Mr. Quinn gave him a little go on it. He will come across again but he says Keith won't be long before he can ride.  We had a sprinkle of snow yesterday and Saturday was filthy weather and I heard on the wireless that in the area of Florence the rainfall in ten hours was equal to a normal autumns rainfall of seven weeks in England.

We had a bit of a shock today, a loud report and windows rattled. I thought a rocket had landed som where but it seems an explosion in an RAF depot occurred Burton way. The children had been warned as well at school about touching tin cans as a bomber had let some of it's bombs fall by accident, the kind I think which explode when touched. 

I shall be glad when Christmas has gone as it only makes more work and it' such a job trying to buy decent presents.

My arm is very sore and Dr.Airey burnt it just where I bend my arm near to the armpit and it's raw. I can't knock about to do any cleaning. I hope I can manage tomorrow to clean round the window frames and get the new curtains up. The painter hasn't been yet but the weather is so damp all the time. I am listening to the news and they have just given out about the explosions and say it has caused a lot of deaths and casualties.

Tues 6.45. Well love, I should just love you to see this kitchen. I didn't light a fire in the front today, the kids have been playing at book shops, books all over the floor and chairs. Michael's behind the counter with his feeder on and his hand pushed well down in his pocket bringing forth a scrap of dirty paper as change. He knows all the games they play. He looks a little tired now. I can see you will be in for a bit of cleaning up when you get home from the office. 

It has been wet underfoot again and the floor is like a mud bath but I will get it all cleared up when they are asleep. I only managed to get Sheila's curtains up today. I can't work very fast with this arm, I reckon I want cutting in half, I can't concentrate. Michael's yelling Mammy and Keith keeps asking questions, I'll think I'll say goodnight and get them off to bed. Jack called in today. He's
well but I think he would like a home of his own. It's one year today since Mr.Gill died. Keith has gone down in his class as his writing is poor. He is in too much of a hurry and far too careless.

December 2nd 1944

Saturday night and Keith has just gone to bed. I have a nice fire in the sitting room but no one to enjoy it but myself. Tomorrow I shall have Ethel here as she finished with Harry today. There is a lot of this sort of thing going on and when I get depressed I wonder if this war carries on much longer whether you will be able to resist some girl's charms. I don't think I would be able to forgive anything like that. I feel very low again today and sometimes wonder if my mind is quite

I don't know how far one has to go before they call it a nervous breakdown. I wish you hadn't mentioned in your mother's letter about me needing a rest as none of them can do anything about it. I had a letter on Thursday dated the 24th and you mention having written on the 20th but so far I haven't had it. Had you got mixed up as the last one I had was dated the 17th. I see you have
sent me some fruit and also some money. I thought I should get a box of nuts. It would be nice if they came for Sheila's birthday.

Your Mam, Nora and family, Mam and Bernice are coming for tea. She is very excited about it. Thanks for the Christmas card, love, and your wishes. Keith has issued the others out to his pals and now he's after the stamps. Talking about Keith, the boot I had sent back to the makers were returned looking much stronger but after five days a hole appeared in the sole again. I was pleased
to see you managed to win a game, it must be your odd shoes. I met Jack Mansfield on Thursday and I told him you were keeping in form. I also asked him about some wood. He mentioned that  was looking younger, must have been my lipstick ! I  have the bike for Keith (£4) and Mr. Quinn has been across twice and he went off by himself although he didn't know it. Mr.Quinn said he would try to get across tomorrow morning and thought he would be alright after that.

Well love I think I will get my supper now, I wish you were here to share it. I don't know how people like Mrs. Brown have stuck it for so long still I guess that's what we have to do. you can't very well desert and fly over. Goodnight, love, sweet dreams.

Well love, it's now Monday night and I've just finished (10 o'clock.) I should love you to see the tray of jam tarts and the plate of those small cakes you are so fond of. Ethel said, wouldn't Eric like those. We have to sit up until eleven as the birthday cake is in the oven. Sheila is very excited.

I was very pleased to get you airmail this afternoon dated the 29th and also pleased that you liked the photo and Keith's letter. Could you sort it out ? I had the registered envelope too, a bit quick eh ? I will try and spend it to give pleasure, I wish you were here to help me as it's a bit of a job. Thanks a lot love, I did wonder whether to buy some ear rings for myself or a hairbrush to use
downstairs. I can see love that I will be busy tomorrow but I think it will be a help having Ethel here. I shall not be sorry when Christmas is over and then I can look forward to seeing you again.

Brother Bill called in to see me yesterday, Harry Q and Harry L also came and they said ' I thought you said you didn't have company, but I couldn't shift for men. Gladys came in the afternoon and said she had a letter from you and it seems she has felt pretty much like I have done lately even to putting a letter together. Sweet dreams love, don't worry about me, I feel better today and Mabel saw my leg yesterday and thought it was looking better. All my love.

10th December 1944

Well love the party went off well and Sheila enjoyed her birthday. She had thirteen cards and a necklace from Granny and Auntie Nora, a bracelet from Mammy and Daddy, a pair of socks from grandma, sixpence each from Eric, John, Billy and Keith, a picture book from Mabel, 2/6 from Mrs S, and  2/- from Auntie Ethel so she did well all told. We had some fun at games after tea. I hope love you are here for the next. 

There was the birth of a son for Ernie and Kath on Sheila's birthday so that's at least one we can't forget. Peggy goes home today but it's not too nice as it's been snowing heavily this afternoon. She is feeding Margery Ann without any trouble now and Mabel got her sitting on on a basin yesterday. It reminded me of Michael. She is a very nice baby, dark hair and I think her eyes will be brown. Our kiddies are very interested and Michael wasn't a bit worried when I held her so it will be quite alright to have another (not much) 

The nurse told Sheila she would bring her mammy another baby when daddy came home. The way the countries are all fighting one against another I shall be gone over when you do get home. Bill wouldn't pay the 2/6 bet I have with him as he says there is still a chance of it being over for Christmas. What an optimist. Tom has move up north again but Gladys is expecting him home for Christmas. Percy is also hoping to be and Bob is expecting his discharge by then. I'm not expecting anything at all. I haven't felt so fed up this week

 I guess it was the loneliness that was getting me down and at least with Ethel here I have someone besides the kiddies to talk to  I think my leg is improving a bit and my arm isn't so sore now but I have a little boil come. I had one last time the doctor treated my arm. I shall mention it to him and I look like having a gathered thumb too. I got up this morning at four to bathe it. What do you think of me shall I survive or go wrong all together.

I haven't written to Mrs. Dickenson yet but I will now I don't feel so depressed. I went to Nora's as usual on Friday and your mother said Janet had passed in the exams also Eric had applied for a job at Faires and got it in the weaving office but the master at school was getting a bit awkward about him leaving anyway. Nora was writing to the education about it. Well love I had to leave off tonight as Mabel and Bernice came up. 

I was pleased to get your airmail. I see you were not one of the lucky draw but as you say dear I don't think either of us would like the idea of you going back to Italy. I hope Germany will soon say she has had enough.

You are having a bit of bad luck at whist still you know what they say, lucky in love. Oliver has been playing whist at someone's house in aid of the lads round that way and had first and second prize a tin of cocoa and a jar of marmalade. They also offered him a tin of dried milk. Kath and Ron have colds but seem better now. I have had a Christmas card from Jack Turvey.

I had the kiddies hair cut on Saturday and Sheila does appear grown up now. Michael is always putting tins into the grill and saying 'dinners ready' and he is always taking his shoes off and sorting the cupboard out for odd ones. He's a bit wittery at the moment as he is cutting his back teeth. He still comes to my bed now and again and is as loveable as ever. I wonder what he will think of his old man when he sees you. I think I shall get a lot of pleasure watching their faces. Sheila's hair is getting darker now but she still has curls. Keith was very helpful this morning. As a rule he is quite awkward first thing in the morning, like his mother. Your loving wife and family 

16th December  l944

I was pleased to get your airmail dated 10th on Thursday but felt rather told off about feeling so depressed. I suppose I should go about smiling all the time and I'll try harder in the future. Mabel and Bernice have been up tonight. Keith went to the pictures with them to see 'Pin up Girl'. I am just waiting for Ethel to come home (10.30). I don't know where she has gone to. I think the kiddies are enjoying having her here. I expect someone else's company besides mine is as good for them as for me.

I went to see Lillian one night last week and down Mabel's another. I didn't go to Nora's yesterday as I went into town to get some presents, what a game. The only thing any good are books. Still I only have John and Janet's to get now. I've bought Glady's John and Alan and Billy books, Eric and Ron handkerchiefs. Our kiddies have so far, Keith book, pencils, devil among the tailors, Jigsaw. Sheila, two dolls, one black, sweeping brush and Michael two small toys on wheels.

I'm starting again on Sunday morning while the dinner finishes. I was lucky yesterday as I had four lemons and about a pound of nuts, almonds and cobs.  I expect love you might get this about Christmas a happy a one as possible and sincerely hope that the next one will see us happily together with our kiddies. What a time you are in for when the family get you home ! Michael has been talking to your photo and showing you the yo yo he has been playing with. 

I'm going to make the Christmas cake when I've finished. We had some icing sugar from the Co-op so I shall be able to trim it up. I made three puddings in the week and they smell good.  

The making of Christmas puddings is one of the memories of childhood during the war which are fixed very strongly in my mind.

All the ingredients had to be saved up over the year except for things like carrots whih were used as an extra sweetner to save sugar. The stirring and the mixing seemed to take for ever and the smell of the spices filled the whole house.

Eventually the mixture was placed into the pudding basins ready to be steamed and we children fought to clean out the mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.
Today I buy ready made puddings but they totally lack the taste and texture of those wartime efforts.

Mabel asked me to go down on Christmas day so you know where to find me in case you come home. Ethel is going to Beryls. I forgot to tell you in my last letter that Sheila and Michael shouted 'Hello Daddy' on her birthday to you down the wireless. If this sounds mixed up blame Sheila as she is messing around and wants me to get on and make the cake.

Bob comes home on Tuesday for good and Mam says he feels well again and pleased to be home once more. Mrs rown is still in the hospital, this is her twelfth week. I've bought her kiddies a little  present for Xmas. Percy has been sent up to Scotland. Mrs W and Family are doing well and she hopes Frank will be home in time for Xmas.

I saw the Doctor last week about my leg and he suggested an Elastoplast bandage but I wasn't too keen but I think I shall have one on as they must have mixed the ointment wrong as it made it as bad as ever again. Ethel took it back and it's a bit better but not much.

I haven't had a parcel from you yet, love. I hope I getone before Christmas. Can you imagine Michael at two ? I was looking at a photo of Keith when he was that age and he is very much the same only Michael is broader if anything. Jack Mansfield brought me a sack of wood but I was out. Ethel asked him how much and he said it was alright. 

We shall have to listen in to the wireless on Christmas day, love, and think of each other at the other end. The kiddies will send a big kiss to their daddy before we go to Mabel's. I expect we will get the usual visitors fromcommunion. Well I'll go and make the cake now, here's Sheila again. Goodnight love, all our love to you. 

21st December 1944 

Well love I hope this letter reaches you for Christmas Morning. Happy Christmas love, my thoughts will be with you. I haven't had a letter for a week now but I received the box of mixed nuts yesterday. They are in all good condition and they are very tasty and sweet. Thanks love. Sheila likes them but Keith and Michael will not try them, if course but mother is fond of them !

The kiddies have got colds but Keith has been to school as they had a party and Keith was the King an a nativity play. He enjoyed both. He has made a letter holder for me and a snowman for himself  at school and was quite proud of them although he had to open the snowman as there were some sweets inside.

Percy had his leave cancelled. I bet he will swear and putsomething snappy in the Christmas dinner for the troops. Tom was home yesterday but sent a telegram to say he had been moved and couldn't have his leave. I feel sorry for Gladys as she was looking forward to spending Christmas with him. Oliver arrived home this morning after 19 hours travelling. Mam and dad are staying at
home this year as Kath was sent home after eleven days and is very ill with pneumonia and has gone to Aggie's house. She has had a tough time all round.

I put the decorations up on Monday and you should haveseen the kiddies faces. We have put a bell over your head. Sheila is teaching Michael to sing 'It's love, love, love'. We've got to get him ready for the choir when this lot's finished. What do you think of the German breakthrough love, does it mean the end is still further away or will it let us see what troops he has hidden ?

I've just had a letter love and just had to leave off to read it. It is dated 15th. I did have to laugh when you mentioned pulling the chain, love. still Sheila does plenty of that and walks in home with her knickers down and no atter what I am doing she bends down and asks 'is my botty clean mummy ?' Sometimes I am upstairs and she is at the bottom.

Well love, I went out with Harry last night to the transport club to see a benefit concert and had three glasses of nut brown, that's all they had to offer me. Mam bought me a pint of wine yesterday. I hope Jack R sends the chocolate, I'll let you know if he does.



Well love there's your children's greetings. Michael kicked up while I was writing so I had to let him have a go. He wants to do everything she does. He often goes to the wireless and calls 'hello daddy' and he pulls the most comical faces. He will be a tough nut, I've no doubt. I have got Keith another book from John Bull.

Well love, I can't concentrate on this as Michael keeps nocking my elbow, Sheila is kicking my chair and Keith is hanging about in front so I'll say 'Goodnight love.' and get this off. God bless you love and don't get too merry, there will be a happy Christmas for us another year. All my love.

24th December 1944

Christmas Eve love and Mabel and Bernice have just gone, the kiddies toys are in three heaps in the shelter and Harry is going to bring the 'Devil among the Tailors' he has made for them, up later. I'm waiting for Keith and Sheila to go to sleep. Keith's face is red and excited looking and he says he can't go to sleep. Sheila has been off once but is now wide awake again so it looks as if I shall be up until midnight.

 We had a siren again this morning at 6 o/clock, the second this week and we could hear plenty of bumps. I didn't know what to do for the best as the kiddies have bad colds and the shelter beds were not aired. I've done it today in case as I was nervous. I could swear I heard the swish of a rocket and it's not a pleasant sound. I was on my own as Ethel has gone to Beryls for Christmas.

 Your Aunt Molly has passed away, love, and was buried yesterday. The troops are singing carols on the radio, are you listening love ? John has got tonsillitis and is very poorly. Your Mam did not feel well today as that siren upset her last night, Norah and Alf fell asleep again and she was on her own.

 I should love you to have heard Michael the other night. Keith came Christmas singing and he went to the door and shouted "Not tonight" in his little piping voice. He had heard me say it before Well love we are going down to Mabels tomorrow so I'll write a bit more then. Goodnight love, Happy Christmas.

 Well love, Christmas day is almost over and we have enjoyed our day at Mabels. We have just got home and the kiddies are tucked up in bed and I'm waiting for the news at eleven. This time two years ago our little Michael was half way here and bless him he has been as good as gold today. I am very sorry to tell you that Aunt Beck passed away today, your mother had a wire this afternoon. I feel very sorry for those boys of hers. The kiddies were awake at four this morning and I helped them look at what Santa had left them and then said they must go to sleep again as it was too early and we all slept until 9.15. They were thrilled with the presents and Sheila loved her black doll. I had some chocolate from Jack this morning and think it was very good of him. There were eight bars and the kiddies loved them. I didn't have a letter from you love still I expect there is one in the post

 I forgot to tell you I had another box of nuts on Thursday and they are going down swell. I'll say goodnight now and finish this tomorrow. I feel tired as I've been on the booze with Les and Peggy

 It's now Wednesday. I had your letter this morning dated 21st. Gladys and family and Mam and dad came over yesterday for Michael's birthday. I have just nocked some rust off the lamp to thaw the lav. It's the first time it has frozen but it certainly has been freezing the last three days. I had ten shillings from the W.Post for you love, so I think I'd better book for Jack and the Beanstalk at the Opera House. We only get oranges once in a blue moon so you can send a few, love. We have had a few lemons this Christmas and I've used them for the kiddies' colds.

 I haven't seen your mother since Friday Sheila and Michael are sitting nursing Sheila's dolls. Michael hasBlack Billy and Sheila has Mary. There is paper and books all over the show and I shall have to have a good clean up when they have all gone to bed. Keith is out with David. Goodnight love, All our love to you. 

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