Kuneina, Sudan – 13th January 1940
13 January 1941
My dearest little darling,
Three days ago I experienced the happiest days since reluctantly leaving the homely shores of merry England. Among the ton of mail, which arrived on that day, I had the great satisfaction of finding two envelopes addressed to me in your sweet and most artistic hand, dated 04 October and 18 October 1940.
Having waited in hope for 102 days for a communication from you, you can well imagine, my darling Betty, how the sight of your handwriting alone produced the most thrilling sensations within me. I read those gifts from heaven an unaccountable number of times and the more I read them the closer I feel to you and your sweet epistles have the desired effect of making me feel as if I was still roaming around the beautiful English countryside in winter.
It so happens that I was laying on my back in my tamboo resting my inflamed leg as much as I could when your love messages were brought to me. With maximum care I opened the first-written with a knife and as I drew it towards my nose and it seemed to me that the envelope had been dipped in a most exotic perfume. At that very moment I could have sworn that you were by my side and as I looked round to glance into your eyes you vanished and that perfect dream just died away. On removing the contents of the second envelope I was naturally very excited. Then I unfolded the scented handkerchief within it and inhaled its delicious Coty scent. And learning that your heart was enclosed within, I placed it in a safe keeping in my left breast shirt pocket over my heart. And there it will remain until the day we meet again as an act of sincere gratitude, undying and returned love to you, my dear Betty.
Well Darling, you now know how long it takes mail to reach this godforsaken place, 11 to 13 weeks to be precise!!!
Now let me open your first letter for the umpteenth time darling. It’s mainly concerned with our last week together, centered in that quiet and retiring rustic village of Amersham – a week of unsurpassed happiness, ecstasy, peace and enchantment for us both; a week that will always remain one of our happiest memories, a week that we constantly relieve in our thoughts; a week that we would pay all the money in the world to live again in reality…
As your first letter was written the day after we parted for awhile, you sound particularly upset – just as I felt when the train drew nearer and nearer to the port of embarkation, as if half of me was missing. By now I daresay you have got used to the idea of us being parted, but it still doesn’t seem right and never will be. As you say in these difficult times we should be thankful for so many happy recollections of all those romantic hours we shared before and after our union day. You tell me that you are lost for words when writing to tell me how much you love me. I greatly appreciate your laudable words about my character towards you but don’t forget you have only known your soldier husband. Has it ever occurred to you what a model person your plain-clothes husband will be?
As you say the war cannot last, as the days roll on so it gets nearer and nearer to a successful end. In the meantime, we shall both cooperate and be brave, remain hopeful, keep smiling and above all, console ourselves with future plans we made when walking to Amersham station on Sunday morning.
I notice with dismay and bitter regret that you brave folks still have to put up with continual air raid warnings throughout the day, that the windows in the front and back of the flats are smashed by vibration. Continue to stand up to it, heroes that you are! Remember that the Boche cannot destroy brave people! What an awful experience it must have been, to spend the whole night in an Anderson shelter. When I heard that a square mile of the city was dynamited last week, I held tight to a chair and prayed for the best.
You say that you would give anything to put your head on my shoulder, feel my arms around you, all those romantic acts will seem so strange to us when we meet again in fact so strange that we shall have to start from the beginning all over again. Is it not wonderful to think that when we do celebrate our reunion we have all those happy things to look forward to? I’m glad I made you so immensely happy during our last night in Amersham. I too, shall never forget the love you returned – our common understanding has reached its desired stage…..
So you’ve had your first autumn storms and rains have you? The word rain seems so remote to us these days that we are beginning to lose its meaning. However in a few weeks time we will have had enough of it. Remember the film we saw at Maidstone during our honeymoon “When the Rains Came”? It is very appropriate for this part of the world you know!
Betty! You are a bad, bad girl making your husband’s mouth water unnecessarily. Going to the Hollybush and telling me all about those lovely little cakes! By the way what is the meaning of the word cake? Never seen them here!
I shall always remember that time –“Da da boom”, we sang, walking across the fields in Amersham. I can still picture how happiness rang in our hearts on that glorious day. It does now, only it’s a different kind of happiness. Perhaps it can be better termed as a reassuring feeling within us that we are wedded in holy matrimony, that we belong to each other with equal pride forever. God has rewarded my patience, my yearning of hearing from you.
Before closing, one reprimand, their and there are errors that occur time and time again. Their hats and I go there!
In the meantime then, all my love, hugs and kisses to you darling I live for the day of our reunion. You are all that matters to me in this world.
Ever your husband lover,