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1st January 1945  8th January  15th January 19th January
29th January 30th January 1945 7th February 13th February
18th February 23rd February 2nd March 9th March
13th March 20th March  26th March *
1st January 1945 

Well love another year and I wish you a very happy one dear and hope with all my heart it won't be long before you can see your children.. I was pleased to get your letter date the 27th this morning, and one on Friday as well. I see you had a good dinner on Christmas day and hope you didn't have to run too much afterwards. I seem to have done nothing else since Christmas day but wipe dirty bottoms. We have all had colds, mine seems at it's height now but the kiddies are much better. We haven't been out since we went to Mabel's, all but Keith. He had a good time sliding but came in on Saturday looking pinched and he hasn't bothered about going out since. They had a fire in the front and played quite well together. Michael is busy trying to put his shoes on with the shoe lift.

 I think, love, you were a little mixed when I said I had lemons and sweets. I meant from the shop. I have had two boxes from you both mixed walnuts and cobs. The parcel from Australia hasn't arrived yet but it said in the paper that the toys for bombed children from there wouldn't arrive as expected for Christmas so I expect our parcels will be along at the same time. I wrote to Mrs. Dickenson last night after a long delay.

 Harry hasn't been well and Mabel has a rotten cold, everybody seems the same. It's nice to think the nights are getting longer and I see you had the same thought, love. Bill and Madge bought Keith a Lexicon game and so we have a game at night with him and it helps him to make words. You'll see the difference in him, love, as he gets quite a big boy now. He lights the fires now and again and chops sticks for me. Sheila was up with Ethel before me this morning and she dressed herself and about broke her neck to tell me.

 I haven't been to the Doctor about the Elastoplast yet but I shall do so this week as it doesn't alter much.

 I hope to get to the pictures this week to see Bette Davis in 'Old Acquaintance'. We have not been getting up until about ten these cold mornings but I shall have to get back to normal when Keith starts back to school on Monday. We are waiting for the dinner to finish then the one o' clock news will be on. I hope it gives more hope of a finish to this war. What did you think of Churchill's Christmas and then we grumble, eh love ? Sheila washed herself ready to go to bed a little while ago and I said 'your arms are not very dry, my baby' and she coolly said 'I'm not a baby' This younger generation ! 

I forgot to tell you that I bought a new dress at Christmas, dark brown chiffon velvet so hurry up love so I can wear it to charm you and go places as it's a classy affair. I think I will wear it that day wait at the midland Station and the sun had better shine but not be too warm as I guess I should have to rush at the last moment, that's if I get there in time at all !.

 I see in the paper tonight that the lads are home from France. I think most people are giving it until the summer now to finish. I am just warming a few baked potatoes through for Ethel's supper. Do you want a few ? I am going to send you a piece of Christmas cake. It won't be much just a taste.. Mrs S asked me to fetch her meat on Friday with mine as she wasn't very well. I wasn't either but went. Keith went with me to take it in and marked her carpet, she was mad and said 'I take a pride in my carpet'. I was mad and haven't been in again. That's the thanks you get for running her errands. Well that's it for now. All my love to you dear

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8th Jan 1945

I had your letter this morning. I've also had a box of lemons with the two oranges in and your airletter written on 31st Dec. I keep your letters love so if you send mine along we will have something to read at least when peace is here once more. 

Keith's play was only for the school children but he said someone said he was good. He has sent you a letter and a drawing on the back. You have to hold the two sheets of paper together to get the picture right, a history picture of a King who fought the Vikings. I couldn't think who the king was but perhaps you will know.

He had a Lexicon game you know and he expects us to play every night. Peggy had the baby christened yesterday so we went to the church.

Nora asked us round for a cup of tea, it was Billy's birthday. Glady's Tom and family came round while we were out and went to Mabel's to find us. They stayed there for tea and Les came round for us after. Tom is on ten days unless he is recalled for a special job. He has been all through his special training and seen a psychologist about his nerves, he says they will give him  quiet job. I'll let you know later.

I didn't feel anything of the earthquake but the planes last night were a picture. They were fairly low and in close formation and looked like a lot of coloured lights darting about. I bet Munich did not enjoy seeing them as much as we did.

I am glad you are making a success of football but about that stripe love, I shouldn't waste time trying for it as you would only see the increase in print on your pay book and I shouldn't get any. As I told you before, we get the standard rate of 35/- now and 12/6 for the children and I don't get any hardship allowed.

It has been trying hard to snow all day. I shouldn't be surprised at it being white all over by morning. That would please Keith. It certainly has been cold since Christmas but so far I haven't had any bursts, Mrs W and Mrs. S have.

I can't seem to shake this cold off. I keep having lemon as long as I don't have to go to bed. Mam isn't well, she has a chill in her stomach. Ethel says she looks bad.

I went to the Royal today for the first time for three weeks. I went to see Dr. Mann on Friday to get the elastoplast on. He was very nice and pleasant. I asked his fee and he said wait and see how it is in a fortnight so think of me then love as he put it straight over the open sore. I only hope it has healed or I shall flop out when he takes it off. It still hurts me especially first thing in the morning.

I've had Faire Brother's mag. It's very interesting. I see Bill Parker's now our Mayor. I heard today Wal Yates is on the way home after three years. I have just put the wireless on for the nine o'clock news, I hope the war's finished. Do you think it will ever end, love, we seem to have been parted for such a long time. I haven't booked yet for the Panto. I won't be taking Michael so you will owe me 2/- but you can have a drink with that.

Harry Quinn gave Keith another cycle lesson on Saturday and he can go a treat on his own but I'm a bit nervous for him. There has been two fatal accidents in Woodgate this week, an old lady of 82 and a boy of 6.

I was weighed today as everyone says I am getting fat. I was still about the same, 9-11 stripped. Well the war hasn't finished so I'll switch off

(TUES.)   I told Sheila the lemon juice was from you so when Michael had a drink he looked up at your photo and said 'daddies' and raised his glass. They have been chalking and taking the babies out this morning. Michael is so very tender and yet so tough. Sheila keeps wanting to go out this morning as the snow is on the ground. She has just thrown a snowball at the window. I bet Keith had some fun on the way to school. My cold seems a lot better this morning.

Goodnight love 'I'm going to take the decorations down now. All my love to you and keep you safe and well.

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January 15th

Well love I've been writing again all weekend and something has put me off tonight. I really meant to write and Percy and Mabel have been up and I thought I'd make a start although it's getting late. Percy is quite well and of course pleased to get home to as it's a lonely, lousy spot he is at now. I was pleased to get my parcel from Australia today love, and thanks a lot. There was a two pound tin of marmalade, ½ of raisins, ½ apricots, and a pound of sugar. I think they charged enough love as it was worth about three shillings plus of course the packing.

I thought I should hear from you today but no such luck, it's a week since you VI letter. I went to see Mam during the week and she worried me love, as she looked terribly ill and she has to fetch everything she wanted, but Ethel went on Sunday and said she looked a little bit better.

I went to a social at St. Augustines on Tuesday night and it passed a pleasant night away and I was able to dress up a bit. All the family went, N,A,E,J,M,B,K,R,C,M, and myself. We had to slide home as the snow was frozen. I also went to the pictures on Saturday evening to see 'Auld Acquaintance'. I'm getting a proper gad about. I should have had a walk down Mabel's tonight as she hasn't been well this weekend. The cold weather is catching everyone it seems. I'm pleased to say I feel more myself again and the Kiddies have got their roses back again. They have been on the park with Mrs Keely today and they both think a lot of her. She is very good to them.

I have rather a busy week love as I have to see Dr. Arcy on Wednesday, treatment Monday and Thursday and Dr. Mann on Friday. I went with Mrs. Woodcock to see Mrs. B on Wednesday afternoon. She has put on weight. but she does want to get home. It's 15 weeks and she is still the same. They have tried various things but the germ just sticks there. They were going to see what penicillin would do and as a last resort they will have to take her tonsils out. She would have been better if she hadn't been a carrier.

I don't know what the younger generation is coming to as Miss Sheila told me I didn't know how to put lipstick on properly. She also said, tell daddy that me went to Rae's party. She also wants a letter from her daddy. Keith had his Airgraph on Thursday. Mam had a letter from you and asked me to say thank you as she couldn't write well. Well, love, my supper is ready so goodnight and sweet dreams.

Well love, it's now Tuesday evening and I've been washing today. I've just cleaned the kitchen up after putting Sheila and Michael to bed. Keith has gone to Johns to have his hair cut and I'm going to scoot him off when he gets back as I do feel a bit ratty today. I shall perhaps have a walk down Mabel's after to cool off.

Ethel is working now 9 - 5. We have got tickets for the Panto for Friday afternoon so that makes my week a bit busier. I was pleased to get V2 this afternoon, it too ten days. I think the army are spoiling you, I shall never be able to compete with them. Do you get hot water bottles. Wal Yates has arrived home and says he can't get warm in England. I'm pleased you had the Christmas cards, better late than never. Can you make Keith's letters out as he puts the first thing that jumps into his mind. Well love, he's here so I'd better get him washed and off to bed.
They are all tucked up in bed now so I'll get off and post this and see how Mabel is. All my love and hurry home, we all want you so much.

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19th January 

I've done well this week as I've received three letters, V3 yesterday and V4 today. I was sorry to hear that the army had treated you so badly over your bed but it is just like them to give and take. It's a bit rotten about Frank not getting home and lucky Arthur being able to. He always was jammy. I see there is no need yet for me to have beauty treatment as you are well back in line. You have managed  at last love, to win at whist. We have been joking as to what shoes they will send you from Egypt. The news has just been on and the Russians are doing fine, I do hope they get into Berlin before us. 

There was another accident yesterday and ten soldiers were drowned. It seems more terrible than being killed in battle. Well, love, my busy week is almost over. I took the Kiddies, (Sheila and Keith) to see Jack and the Beanstalk this afternoon and we really enjoyed it. They had the kiddies singing 'Mares eat oats' and that was just Sheila's fit, she was sorry the Giant was killed before he had had his dinner and she liked the fairies and the cow, especially when Mrs. Hubbard powdered his face and put lipstick on his nose. I guess we shall be hearing bits for a week or two now. By the way, love, I shall have to have a drink with you as the tickets were 9/- not 12/- as I thought. I have been to Dr. Mann's tonight but have been reprieved until next Friday as it is still painful so of course isn't healed yet. It has been getting on my nerves.

I think I crowned Keith with his dinner one day as he is forever grumbling about what I give him. You see love, I still have a temper. I hear next week at half past eight Friday on the wireless there is a trip from Tunis via Sicily to Italy so I'll be coming over, love. Your mother hasn't been very well but is a lot better now. Her eyes have been bad. Ethel has been to see Mam tonight. She did a bit of ironing and cleaned the floor for me and Keith washed and dried the tea things while I was at the doctors. Isn't this pen nib awful, I shall have to get a new one, it's agony to write with it. I see love you have sent a few more boxes off for me, you spoil me. I shall share them round, I did the others. I gave Mabel, Kath and Ethel took some to Beryl's and Glads and her boys. had some here on boxing day. Well love it's ten and I feel hungry. Shall we have some brawn and cheese and a cup of cocoa made with Gill's milk. That time will come love and we shall appreciate it more than those who have never been parted.

It's now Sunday afternoon, Michael and Sheila are having a rest and Keith has gone to Sunday School and I've just washed up and cleaned round a bit and put a few apricots on to stew for tea. Ethel has gone to beryl's. We had 1lb of oranges this week, they are lovely ones, Spanish I think. We went into town with Mabel yesterday and bought Sheila a dress length and Michael a coat and cap. He looks a tough guy in it, quite grown up. He did yell when we wanted him to fit it on in the shop. It's brown and Sheila's dress is a pretty pinky red. The weather is still freezing and snow lies about two inches thick. Keith loves it and has had some fun with his pals. I have to dry his shoes and socks every day.

Well love, the news is still good but I do wish it was all finished and we could get back to normal as Michael is growing so fast and will have lost all his pretty ways and Sheila and Keith are shooting up too. There is one thing, we shall be able to take them for walks or bus rides in the summer and occasionally to the pictures in the winter. Goodnight love. God bless you and keep you from harm.

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29th January

I've just had a spot of trouble with this pen, I hope it lasts now. Well love I'm sitting by the dying embers having had my supper and waiting for Ethel to come home.. It's ten thirty and I feel rather weary. I went to Dr. Mann's last night and my Elastoplast came off quite quickly without any trouble but I don't think it was too successful although Mabel thought that it looked better for it. He has changed the ointment so we shall see what that will do.

 Ethel has just come in and says she has just been up home and says mam isn't very well again. I wish I could get up and see for myself. Your mother seems to be a bit better again although I have not been up for two weeks, the weather is so cold and the snow is hanging about. Mr.S has thawed the lav for me and the outlet from the bath. He also supplied me with some paraffin as we can't get any in the shops.

 Keith has been to the Sunday School party today and enjoyed himself. They received the cards which you sent.Sheila and Michael were very pleased with their's but Keith said he would sooner not had one than the thing you sent. That's your son, love, but you sent him the same card for his birthday and I think he would have liked a coloured one. I should send a letter to him next time.

 Well, love, it's now Sunday afternoon once more and the sun is shining although it is still very cold. Keith has gone to school and Sheila and Michael are making plenty of noise while I am writing. I told Sheila you had a hole in the seat of your trousers and she said 'Oh, him get a cold in his botty' with such a saucy grin. Michael puts his words together well now such as ' where going mummy ?' He calls Sheila 'leila' and it sounds pretty.

 I had a letter this week from Polly and she asked me to forward it on to you. She sent the kiddies five shillings in stamps for Christmas but put the wrong address on so it's taken a long time coming. I shall send it along with the lighter Mabel and I bought for you, it's a little beauty and to fill it up the arm screws off. I'm getting some flints and hope you will be able to get it refilled. Look after it, love, and don't leave it around to get borrowed.

 Mam was pleased to get the airgraph from you last week. I haven't had any more nuts yet but look for the post each day. Sheila said the other day that she wished some more nuts would come. I had V5 last week. Wal Yates has done his time, that's why he is home (3 years RAF). I can see love that you won't be home yet.What would happen if jerry quit Italy, would they throw you out then. It looks as if they will have to do something soon but my hopes are not rising until I hear peace declared. Oh what a day love, then we can really look forward to seeing you once more. Peggy's baby hasn't been getting on so well but I think she hasn't been getting enough food and now Peggy has put her on the bottle she seems more contented. Mrs. Brown hasn't come home yet but she had her tonsils out and hopes to be home next weekend. Mrs. W and I are lighting fires just to keep the place and beds dry for her. 

I went to the City Cinema with Mrs. W on Wednesday night. We only had time to see one picture as they finish at 9.30 now as the last tram is at ten o'clock. It was very cold and we thought we would get something to warm us up at a place against the Groby Road tram stop. Mrs. W. went in to see what they had and got' sorry, finished serving' so we had had it and went home cold. Oh that reminds me, Sheila wanted some sweets one day. I said 'you've had them' so Miss said 'You've had it pal, you've had it'. She'll get by, love as I can't eat anything on the sly without she wants to know what she can smell. Keith has just come in from school and has started setting the table for tea. He always seems good on Sunday afternoons and mostly gets the tea ready for me. Well love, Ethel is going to post this letter for me and her way to see mam again. There isn't much to say, the bombers are going over in odd ones but continually so Germany is going to get something.

 I'll say goodnight, sweet dreams, we all love you so dearly. 

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30th January 1945

Well love, we woke up this morning to snow. I had to dig the path clear in some parts. It was a spade's depth up to the front door so you can guess that it is also in the roof. In the night it was rattling on the window, I should think that it was freezing as it was falling.
The six o'clock news is on and he has just said that the Russians are driving towards Berlin. They are certainly doing well.

I've just had a break, love as I had to put Michael and Sheila to bed then I had Keith's socks and gloves to wash through and his shoes to stuff with paper as they were soaking wet. I think he walks in the most wet he can find. It's thawing fast now. Keith has now gone to bed after a lot of persuasion. He has written to you tonight. It's a bit blotchy as he is trying to use pen and ink. Sheila says I was to tell you that her letter is a long time coming and that she isn't a saucy little minx, she is nice.

I had to smile at Michael this afternoon. he was playing Devil amongst the Tailors. He gets on the shelter to set it up then throws the ball the wrong way, but he does aim well and all the time he was looking at your photo on the wall and saying 'Daddy look' and things like that. He often goes to the wireless and says 'goodnight daddy' I think he thinks that is where you live. he is very loveable. This week he has been cutting two teeth and comes to my bed when they wake him up and he puts his arm round my neck and gives me such a big clinging kiss. Some girl is going to suffer.

We haven't had the electricity cut off in our district yet but my coal stock is looking sick. He hasn't been to me for nine weeks to deliver any. I keep backing it up with slack and its is nice and wet.

I don't know if it is just Keith growing up but he looks a lot thinner since Christmas I give him malt and plenty of milk. he has plenty of energy so I guess that he is alright. I didn't make a pudding with the raisens love, as we all enjoyed eating them. I opened the marmalade yesterday and it's lovely. Sheila and Michael liked it. 

You say love you don't know how we wives stick things but we are in the same boat as you, we don't have any choice so we just grumble now and again and get on with things hoping and praying that one day it will all end. One day we will laugh about the trials we have. You say something about the cost of schooling. I understand that all children will have higher education or have I got it mixed up.

The nine o'clock news has just come on. I wonder what they will have to say. Nothing new from six o'clock except that Hitler is going to speak to the German people.

Sheila was very interest in the little dog you mentioned in your letter. She has been on about having a black dolly for Christmas but she doesn't bother a lot with it and Michael takes it to bed with him most nights and calls it Billy Black. He wraps it in a shawl and cuddles it just like Sheila does. They play well together and I don't think I will send Sheila to School until next August.

Ethel has gone out with a man again tonight . Mam seems a lot better.

All our love

7th February 1945

I'm pleased to say the weather is much better today and today makes one think of spring and all that may mean to us. Yesterday it rained all day so in the afternoon I recovered Pat for the kiddies (note. Pat was a model dog on wheels) and though I say it myself she looks pretty good and Sheila and Michael were as pleased this morning as though I had bought them a new toy. They have been playing out in the yard all morning.

Do you remember the green hat and coat we bought for Keith. I believe he went to school in it when he started well Michael has got it on this morning. The hat sits on the top of his head. I went to see Lillian on Monday night and Dick is alright and landed safely in Cairo. Keith has just come in with a ladybird for Michael and he has pulled it apart. Keith has gone off for a ride on his bike until dinner time. I am going to the club with Harry tonight so I'll have that drink you promised to treat me to.

I'm pleased to say Mam seems a lot better but dad has a chill in his liver. They say he can't stand up to the weather we have been getting lately. (note despite this, he lived into his nineties)

I think Ethel is getting a divorce from Harry. It's the best thing as he has got a younger woman now. I should hate to have a life like that. (note. Ethel was the only person in the whole family I ever knew to get a divorce until many years later)

Ethel managed to finish Sheila's dress and she is so proud of it saying 'I look so pretty, don't I' when she is wearing it. Michael had a different pair of shoes on yesterday and was showing them to your photo saying 'look daddy. I'm not cleaning your photo in the front room then you will be able to see how many times the children have given you kisses. 

I hope you got the cake I sent you. I hope you were not looking forward to a large slice as it's only in an egg box. I have sent the parcel off with your lighter in and some flints. I've put in two books you many enjoy reading but I put them in so the lighter would be safer. 
Keith thought you were lucky to have six ounces of onions a day as they are one thing which he does like which I don't Sheila and Michael like bit of cheese first thing in the morning. I have almost eaten the box of nuts I had and am patiently waiting for the next box to arrive.

Oliver had something to say this morning about the gratuity money and how well off we wives would be. No need to save money now we know we shall get plenty when the men come home but as usual he got the tale wrong. He had the idea we should have a nest egg of over one hundred pounds plus clothing money and keep for 56 days. I told him to read it again. He was just the same over the increased allowances.

My leg is a lot better so I'm just going to have five minutes sitting in front of the fire and then I must take Michael and Sheila out shopping.

Your loving wife.

13th February 1945

Well love I seem to have had a lot of letters from you after the two I had a week ago. Keith had the last one you wrote and Sheila and Michael have also had one.

Keith was saying 'The song of Winter' to me tonight before he went to bed. Do you remember it ?

The news has just come in that they have announced the fall of Budapest but all I really want to hear is the end of Germany and to know that it won't be long then
before we can see your old face once more.

Talking of faces, the snap was good but it's a pity you were not nearer the camera. I have had a lot of people say you are looking younger on it !.

I took Sheila and Michael to the Mother's meeting social at Pool Road this afternoon. Your mother and Nora were there. I let Sheila go in her new dress and she was so proud and doing a lot of swanking. She was pleased with the letter from her daddy and made me read it to her four times and your mother, Mabel, Nora, Ethel and Bernice have also had to read it to her. She never tires of what her daddy says and when we are out and see children with soldiers she looks wistful and says there is a little boy, or girl, with their soldier daddy and it makes me wonder what must go through her mind. It's such a pity that the kiddies do not have you here with them.

I have just finished ironing and have to see Dr Aerey tomorrow. I ought to see Dr. Mann as well as my leg is showing signs of healing but it still hurts a lot. I was pleased to hear that the cake arrived safely and that you both enjoyed it. Sorry there wasn't more. We managed to get some dried peaches from the Co-op this week and have had oranges for the last three weeks and lemons last week. I made some lemon curd and of course today is pancake day so we had lemon on those as well. Did you get any for your dinner ?

Keith did the sums you sent him easily so he has started a letter to you complete with the answers and with some for you to do. I went to see Mam last Thursday and she is beginning to look more herself and Dad is a bit better. I'm glad the weather is better for them. I shall have to chase the Co-op again about some coal as I only have enough to last this week. It's over eleven weeks since he called. We are only allowed five hundredweight a month now but I'm glad now I managed to save some from the summer.

I went to the concert last Wednesday and had three Nut Browns and landed home at eleven. Isn't it disgraceful. I shall have the neighbours writing to you about me.

Our Winnie is expecting a baby and Harry's mother asked her to leave as she didn't want a baby there. Don't some people need their brains inspecting. Harry is thrilled but a little worried about the thought of being a father.

Well I'll say cheerio for now, God bless.

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18th February 1945

Sunday dinner over. Ethel washed up while I cleared the grass from around the crocuses. It's a lovely spring day today. Keith has gone to Sunday school and Sheila and Michael are playing outside while I'm writing. The peaches are cooking ready for our tea. The garden is showing signs of spring. I have one snowdrop out and quite a lot of crocuses. Keith has been straightening the garden and he says he needs more ground now that he is growing bigger.

 I went across to Mrs. Brown's for a little gossip this morning. Mr. W's getting up today. He has been on leave but hasn't been well since he got home Wednesday. Frank Baxter has lost his wife. It seems she had a baby. It's six weeks old. There was a germ in her blood stream and her heart wasn't too good as she had rheumatic fever as well. It's such a pity to leave children like that. The boy is 15.

 I went with Mabel and Family to watch Les play football yesterday afternoon. They were winning 3-1 when |I left. Ethel went to see Mam yesterday and she hasn't been very well again. She hadn't heard from Percy. Bob has started to work and was stopped £1 out of his first week's wages for income tax etc. He's going to see about it as he thinks he has been classed as single.

 What do you think of the war love, is all the struggling nearing it's end ? It makes me wonder how they can hold out so long when the flames are roaring out all day long but we daren't get too hopeful.

 I don't think I shall bother much with the garden this year. I had to see the coalman about leaving me some more coal as he hadn't been since November and I was right out. He left me two bags of breeze. I also went for the sweep but his wife said he couldn't come until the end of March and asked the address. When I said Culver Road she said ';Oh he's got an outside to do that way'. I said ' yes, mine !' so he can sweep the chimney next Thursday for me. It's good isn't it love but that's how everyone is here !

 Sheila has just come in with her nose in the air saying 'me can smell something' Michael has followed looking a bit soiled so does the floor now. Ethel is starting to work at Lewises tomorrow. I shall be on my own again all day long. I went to see 'Double Indemnity' . It wasn't bad, she was a cat but as she said it's one way of getting rid of a husband.

 Well love, I didn't get this finished yesterday and I'm going to try now before I begin for the day. I say try as Keith is on holiday from school and has just broken his boot lace and I've had to leave off already to find him a lace. he's now attempting to put it in himself. Oh he's sick of doing it so I must stop again for a minute.

 Now they all want to go out to play and I must put their coats on. by the way all my lovely crocuses have been plucked by Michael. He knew he had done wrong and his them all in the sand, you know in that little box. Thank goodness there are plenty of bulbs. I don't know what to do about letting Sheila start school at Easter. She would like to go but I wonder if it would be better to let her stay at home and play with Michael. What do you think ? She will be away all day until she is five as they have to have school dinners. It would make it a lot easier for me but I would miss her.

 Tom hasn't heard any more about going to France. Gladys is coming up tomorrow so I should know more then. Keith is still making something out of his bits of wood although they have dwindled a bit. He has made a cake walk for Sheila. 

Well love, I hardly ever ask where you are but you know I always want to know. I heard on the news this morning of the Russian Commanders death. It's a pity that such brave leaders have to go.

 It's no good, the fire wants making up, the pots want washing and heaps of other work wants doing so I'll have to say goodmorning love and make a start. God bless and keep you safe for us.

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23rd February 1945

I was very pleased to receive letter V14 yesterday morning. I think that's the quickest reply of any as I only posted my letter to you on the Wednesday previously at 6 o'clock. I have been to your mothers today and she has knitted a smart jumper for me. She seemed he old self again and is coming for the day on Sunday all being well. Vera was there with Keith. He's nearly five.

 Ethel keeps butting in and talking as usual so if I sound a bit mixed you will know why. She has been to see Mam again tonight and she doesn't seem well again but dad is feeling better. I might go and see her myself tomorrow.

 I'm pleased to say that my leg has dried up. The doctor put a bit of yellow gauze on it and said that will do until you get home and left it on until the next morning. You can imagine my suprise when I saw that it had dried. I couldn't believe my eyes. I then dressed it with ointment he had ordered and the gauze just opened a bit like a pin prick. Tonight it is the same, painful, but I expect that it is healing up underneath.

 I told Sheila I was writing to you tonight so she said send you a big whopping kiss. She said afterwards that that was the only one she had left. Michael also sends a kiss as he lay cuddling up in his cot hugging Blackie. He is a young rascal. Now here is something to make you proud of Keith. He fetched a pound of shallots from Hills and dug and raked the ground where the cabbage was and set them all OK. He said that Clive Offley and himself are the best in the boys for composition. It's a good job he is different at school as he is a very untidy boy at home and in appearance and stupid and awkward too and yet when he likes he can be a different boy. He likes riding his bike and has some fun with David.

 I had the sweep yesterday at 6.30 am and wasn't I wishing you were at home. I wasn't awake and woke with a start when he knocked on the door. I thought I would make a job of it so I washed the ceiling, walls and curtains and then I had to go for treatment in the afternoon. I felt too tired to write to you last night. When I came home from Doctor Mann's on Wednesday night I called at Mabel's and had my supper there and a chin wag in front of the fire like old times.

 I was pleased to hear of your luck in the buster and shall be pleased with anything I can get out of it. I wish those walnuts would hurry up. We had fresh grapefruits, one on two ration books. It's lovely and I've had two pounds of Canadian apples. Things are looking up. I didn't say I had a liking for nut browns, that's all they had to sell. I still prefer something short and snappy.

 On the news today I heard that Turkey has joined forces. The war is going well for us. I was listening to last week's 'Music Hall' and heard 'Night and Day'. I wondered if you were listening. It always reminds me of 'Love is a thing apart'

 I think that we must have had a taste of spring at the same time as you. Don't go feeling too much like spring yourself will you. Ethel has gone to bed and the fire is getting very low just like when I used to say 'oh come on Eric. let's go to bed ' or 'I'm tired' and you used to say ' I've only got another 15 pages. You go, I won't be long ' but we went together as usual. Ethel gets on me a bit at times. I wish she wouldn't tell everyone she sees about her troubles. Still I shall have you back one of these fine days or snowy days, next Christmas who knows what we will do and you know love that will be the happiest day for all of us.

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2nd March 1945

Well love this week I have done well with plenty of letters and a box of nuts. Greedy me, I was hoping for another letter today. First the snaps were very good but you look far too young for me. I showed them to Mrs. W and Mrs. B and we all had quite a bit of fun over the handsome men in the group photo and wondered if they could get over here on Wednesday, our night off.

Sheila was a bit off colour. She saw a horse run away and the shock made her a bit feverish. She is alright again now. Michael was thrilled with his letter from you and sat in a chair reading it. I told him that the drawing was of daddy and he said 'Sheila upstairs daddy. Sheila poorly' and sat quite a time talking to you and looking at the drawing in the letter. I gave Sheila her letter from you after she woke up but she
didn't say much as she didn't feel too good.

Keith got his when he came home from school and his first thoughts were how many sums you had put in for him. of course there weren't any so he was disappointed.

I went to see Mam on Monday and she looks a bit better but seems to have aged suddenly. Tom is in hospital with the flu and Bob's lad, Walter is in hospital too. I went to see 'Adam had four sons' at the 'Sov' on Wednesday night and quite enjoyed it. You have already seen it haven't you ?

I have been to Nora's today. Your mother is well. Eric in the top scorer in football in the cadets. He is quiet a young man now. I met Reg Haines wife and she said Michael looks very much like you, poor lad.

I made Sheila a scotch kilt last night and she has been showing it off to everybody today. Keith bought a cycle repair outfit last week and four tyre levers. He said you
can borrow them when you come home as would like to borrow your copying pencil because their isn't one in his. He is now going to save for a bell if he can get one. He rides very well

Mr. S has taken the wheels off the tricycle so I can get the spokes repaired so Sheila can have some fun on that. I'm going to town this afternoon to see if I can find a mac for Keith as he looks like a scarecrow in the one he goes to school in at the moment.

We have been getting a few frosty mornings lately but the sun is lovely in the day. We had a lot of planes over yesterday all day long and last night it was a picture, just like a Christmas tree. They came in from Gill's over our house in for formations of about eighteen in each and they had four lights blue,  green, yellow and red each so you can imagine what a sight it was especially as they came over very low.

Well love, your kiddies are making it hard for me to write so I'd better say goodbye and get on with some more work.

Your loving wife

9th March 1945

Well love I'll start but I may not get this finished as I feel very tired. The nurse painted my arm with mercury and it feels very sore but it had to be done so I told her just to get on with it.

Ethel and I spring cleaned the sitting room yesterday. I know I should not have done it as I was feeling bad but I had had the chimney sweep and it wanted a good clean so down came the blackouts.

I washed the flowers that you bought me and also those wooden ones I had off a gypsy and put them on some evergreen and they looked fresh and colourful once more.

You ought to come home now love and see it. The only thing that hasn't been cleaned is your photo. I have left all the kiddies kisses on that for when you come home.

I have just done the ironing after getting the kiddies to bed. Ethel should have done it on the Wednesday but could not find the flex for the iron. You say I get her company but I'm not sure that I am much better off as I go out on Wednesday and she goes out Sat, Sun, Tues., Thurs and Fri and goes to work at 8.30 at except for twenty minutes at dinner that's all I see of her until night and then all she is concerned about is Ethel !.

Last Saturday I got Keith a new mac and also had to pay 2/8 for a pair of braces. Sunday we stayed in as Keith had a cold and didn't go to Sunday School. I didn't send him to school on Monday or Tuesday. He seemed a bit better so he went on Wednesday. He is still not up to the mark and more awkward than ever. He fell down and made a mess of his nose. I told him you would give him a real good tanning when you got home. He said 'Daddy wouldn't do that. He never hit me before he went away'

We had the siren the other night and I stood at the window and didn't know what to do for the best. Ethel was dozing but after 3/4 hour and nothing happening I decided to lay down for a bit and fell asleep. I can just remember hearing the end of the all clear. 

Your mother didn't hear it, she didn't seem too well today. You know she is having to lie in the middle room all the time as they can't get the coal and the planes going over worry her and then they say that the V bombs are getting a longer range now and might reach Leicester. I think what with one thing and another she is not getting enough rest either mentally or physically
I was please to read that you had received you parcel OK. You didn't get the idea of the soap which was to protect the lighter. I'm glad you liked the tie, that is so you don't have to borrow one when you go dancing. You never mentioned if you were issued with one.

I had three letters this week but no box of nuts so I guess they must have gone astray. Can you check when they were sent. I see I am going to have a fee from the cash wholesalers again Thanks love. You were lucky to get all those eggs just when they were needed from Alec still you always were lucky. Look at the holiday break you are getting now in Italy !

I hadn't heard about the fire at Georgetown. It must have been rotten for Phil. Well love the war news is cheering and makes me think that you might actually be home this Christmas. I asked Sheila for a message for you when she was in bed and she said ' Oh I can't fink !' then she said in a whispering voice that'll him I've got a doggies on my coat and that's the one I went down to see Granny in this afternoon.

Well it's after supper time, about ten o'clock and Ethel isn't back home yet. I though she might bring some chips up for supper, but no such luck. By the way I meant to tell you I went to the 'Sov' on Wednesday with Mrs. B and Mrs.W and we went to the Robin first and had a milk stout. The drink was good but the picture was too noisy. I'd sooner have a quiet film after a noisy day at home.

Goodnight for now love

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March 13th 1945

I have just come home from Dr. Mann very pleased with my leg and I think it will be healed over before long. I've told Mabel all along that it was healing like the war news. There were pockets in it healing like the way the Russians were beating the Jerries so I suppose when it's completely healed, the war will be won too. I only hope so.

Keith has written a nice letter to you tonight and I shall post it tomorrow together with this one if I get it finished in time. I shall also enclose Sheila's letter and write underneath her shorthand what it means as she tells me when she writes it. I think you will find her drawing good for a four year old.

(In 1999 Sheila is still an accomplished water colour artist )

I was pleased to get your letter dated the 7th and 9th yesterday and also to get the box of walnuts on the 10th. They were sent on the 25th of Feb so that was thirteen days. How's that for speed, love. I still haven't had the other box of nuts.

Oliver is home on leave and was engaged yesterday to Jessie. Edith's Harry is in hospital again. He has been seriously ill and they hadn't much hope for him but he is now off the danger list. Tom is back with his unit . Walter's mum doesn't seem well again.


Well love you can see by the date that I wasn't able to get this finished. Ethel talks and talks while I am writing. I'm writing again tonight while she is at the pictures and perhaps I will get it finished before she gets home. I went to see Dr. Aerey yesterday. He was pleased with my arm and after giving me a dose of the usual he said that I need not see him for another four months as he can leave it for the nurse to treat as she knows her job. I hope I get it OK before you come home.

Talking of coming home, I've heard on the news that the over 25 group can be called for the Far East and it has depressed me a little although I know that you can never tell what will happen. The Army works in funny ways. They should call those who have managed to get out of it like a few we know, sitting back so safe and secure. I think they look on the rest of us as idiots.

Today I have managed to clear a few weeds off the flower beds. I did say that I would not bother this year . Mr Quinn has fetched some seeds and thought if you did come home you would like everything nice and tidy.

They have brought a few more prisoners in today. What with Yanks and Italians and now a few thousand German prisoners it's home from home.

I had Faires magazine today and see your old pal Roy is engaged. Mrs B, Mrs W and Mrs,M went to the 'Sov' to see 'Nine Girls' after tasting the Robin's brew, just three lonely wives . I think it's a good job none of us are glamour girls.

Sheila and Michael are having a good time in the garden digging away but it's making it a bit hard for the one which will have to do the real digging. I might try a bit tomorrow as I have half a stone or early potatoes I need to plant.

Michael seems to be losing his baby ways now he can get outside with Keith and Sheila but he is still as loveable as ever. I've taken the wheel from Sheila's bike to be mended and she will have it back on Saturday so then it will only need cleaning and oiling. I do wish we had a proper shed. I think it would be a good idea to have one built after the war. Oh the things we want after the war. I hope the prices fall a bit.

God bless you

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20th March 

The fairy lights have just gone over again. They are American as they are in close formation. Our planes went over about half an hour ago so Germany will have it once more but I'm like you, love, I can't help but feel sorry for the women and children and I should think that what's left of them will endeavour to see that this will never happen again.

I was pleased to receive your V letter today dated 16th one on Saturday too. Keith has had his letter and was pleased with the sums. You had him beat on one sum and also the time. We all like the photo and think you look well in the collar and tie. It was worth one coupon. Your Mam and my mother have both received the nuts and shared them out among the younger generation. Mam is going to try and get up here tomorrow, she hasn't been since Michael's birthday. Keith is doing well this week as he went to a birthday party yesterday and has gone to a concert tonight with Ethel and won't be home until 10.0 o'clock. I have been washing today and have just scrubbed the floor and tidied round after Sheila and Michael went to bed. I thought I'd do a bit of ironing after I'd finished, that is if I feel like it. I don't know what is amusing Michael in the night but he laughed quite heartily. He climbs on the chairs now and is always up when I am at the sink. Sheila has had him jumping off the box the nuts came in and he's quite proud of it. They play well together.

I'm sorry your knee keeps sticking. Can't you put in for sick leave and fly home. It's about time you had a spot of leave isn't it ? In the snap you look as if you are at the bottom of the garden but ours doesn't look like that yet. I did get a bit of digging done on Sunday but did find it a bit tiring. The crocus have all gone and now we have about a dozen daffodils out, they are a bit earlier this year but we have had some nice days . I can see, love, when you come home you'll want to have some bridge parties or else you will be going to them yourself.

We didn't have a siren the other night when planes were over the northern area, it's a good job as Ethel has gone to Beryl's. I see now that you have a bigger chance of getting leave after August, that should cheer us both up. As you say if they won't recruit any more men over 35 they might let a few out of the army altogether. Tom has gone near London. He's got a job with the prisoners. Pity it wasn't in Leicester.

I forget to tell you but  I went to communion last Sunday with Mabel and Bernice. My arm has been very sore but keeps improving. Mabel saw it at the weekend and thought that it looked well. My leg doesn't pain me now. Did I tell you we are going to Mrs Dickensons for the weekend at the end of Easter week. I only hope Keith behaves. 

Well love, the clock spins round and it's almost nine o'clock. I'll just put the news on in case the end has come and then I'll get your supper. What do you want, no fritters not tonight, just cheese and a bit of Spanish onion and cocoa. Would you enjoy it love, by your own fireplace. Even that's something to look forward to and worth denying yourself some so called pleasures. We shall have some happy times when that day dawns. I've given the kiddies all the kisses which you sent and they have lots of love to give you in the flesh. There is not a day when we don't mention you so you won't be a strange man when you arrive home. Well I'd better say goodnight before I start to feel weepy. Your loving wife and family.

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Olive,Keith,Sheila and Michael

26th March 1945
I've had a rather busy day with washing and going for treatment and after finishing my ironing I thought I'd start this letter to you as Ethel is out with a soldier boy friend and won't be home for another hour. I've just heard the news headlines and as it's not over yet I've just switched off. The boys out there are doing their best I know, but I am a little impatient. It seems so long since I saw you and I fear it will be many months yet before we can even hope to see you again. 

I'm pleased to say Mam seems a nice bit better. Bob's foot is OK again, Percy has scalded his hands but they are going to be alright, Edith's Harry is still very ill. He had to be given two pints of blood on Thursday. I thought your mother looked better this weekend.

 Mr Sanders has dug a bit of the garden tonight. Michael, Sheila and Keith have some fun together. Now the days are better it's a job to get Michael in. Sheila has been thrilled this week as her bike has been finished and Bernice painted it for her yesterday and it looks as good as new and should last for Michael. I was calling Michael 'Eric' on Saturday and he turns up his nose and says 'No, me Mike' and then he said 'Daddy, Eric'. We have done it before teasing him and I said your daddy's name is Eric and it must have stuck in his mind. Mrs. S was saying tonight that Sheila was a nice little girl and that you would think a lot of her when you see her. I said I could see me having my nose pushed out of joint. Michael is nearly as old as Sheila was when you went away. 

I got V23 in three days and it was funny I mentioned in my last letter about sirens as we had one the same night just after ten o'clock. Keith had just got home with Ethel from the concert. We didn't hear anything. There were a lot of planes going over the night they crossed the Rhine and during the day too.

Keith has been helping Mr. S to dig his shelter out tonight. He has been behaving a bit better the last few days but he is still so untidy in everything he does and his clothes no matter how I try to keep him tidy. He will have his pullover on inside out, his pants showing below his trousers, he has loops on them but he is too idle to pull his braces through them. His shoes are always muddy ten minutes after I've cleaned them. I sometimes feel like letting him get on with it without doing anything for him, yet he's a grand kid when he thinks fit.

 Well love, now it's Wednesday. I'm trying to get this finished before Oliver comes and he can post it for me. Mabel came up last night and said she had written to you. There was a big fire early this morning as we saw the glow and smoke from the bedroom window, you know love like we did once before and it was in the same direction. I'll let you know where it was. Well, the news is still good and it looks as though Germany will lose the war after all. 

I took Sheila and Michael into town yesterday and bought Sheila a new coat and hat and Michael some new shoes. I want some myself but they are a job to get just what you want. Sheila was swanking when I tried her coat on her. It's a green mixture but you will probably see it before it's worn out. We have had some oranges from the shop this week and the last two weeks we have had double egg rations so it's egg and chips for dinner today. 

You should see Michael with an orange. He just tips it up with his tongue. He has just thrown the biggest part of one into the fire. He's going to be a real tough guy. He has been rolling into Sheila this morning. I heard this morning that they were ready for a new offensive in Italy. Well love, I've lots of work to do as usual.

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