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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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
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
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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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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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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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
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
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
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
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
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
All our love
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
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.
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
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
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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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
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
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
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
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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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
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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
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
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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