I would like share one of my treasures with you. I purchased this letter at an antique fair a few years ago for 50p.
It is a war time letter, sent by a Shropshire serviceman to his wife. As you can see from the photos, the date is 13th August, 1942. He is writing from, I think, HMS Zulu.
If you can take the time to read this, I'm sure you will understand how I feel about this letter:
You will see there is a small figure one in the top lefthand corner. I've wanted to start this idea of numbering letters for ages, but never brought myself to it. Will you please start numbering yours too my sweet, and then we will be able to tell whether or not any letters go astray. I have an idea that some of yours have and maybe some of mine aswell. We won't be able to bring back that which is lost but will know something of the sequence of our mail. My darling, I've been bursting to write to you for some days, but this is the first opportunity I have had. It's no good trying to write at sea and not always easy in harbour if our stay is shortlived. I'm like you in my letters to you, I like to have time to do it in comfort, because I get such a great deal of pleasure out of it. Forever and ever am I thinking about you and I feel I'm speaking to you when I'm writing. It's only an illusion but it serves a purpose of bringing you nearer to me. (The mail has just come aboard, one letter for our mess and not for me - worse luck). Unfortunately, I have nothing or little more than nothing of news for you. Plenty has been happening but it's not stuff I can tell you about. The 'bursting' to write was in me though despite the fact that I know I could'nt find much to say. I suppose it was really wanting to tell you again how sweet have been my thoughts of you, how heavy my heart without you. That's one thing that I had'nt realised before - every thought of you is a lovely memory and beautiful in that it fills my mind with your sweetness and loveliness. The ony troubled thoughts of you are those I can't deny of whether you are horribly lonely or unhappy, in want or unwell. I'm a terrible old fusspot where you are concerned and often have to pull myself up in the midst of a fit of worrying. Otherwise, my greatest happiness is in thinking and dreaming of you. Sometimes you are at home, sometimes out. Every so often I see a charming picture which affects me more deeply as time goes on - a trim figure, elegantly clad that is my wife, standing on a railway platform, a bit apart from other crowding around, with a small white dog looking wonderingly after a departing train. I see the figure turn away and strain my eyes to see it as long as I can, but the train won't wait, and I know I'm only seeing again and again the picture of the last time I saw you. It's grateful I am that my memory enables me to reconstruct vivid pictures of you, and that they are filled with happiness and love and tenderness. Dearest, we will recapture that lost happiness, renew that tender love. I can't love you more but I can show you how much I love you in hundreds of little ways and when we are finally reunited for good and all I have vowed that my life will be devoted to proving it. I will never be able to do enough for you and I shan't like letting you out of my sight. It is'nt a nice thing to talk about dear heart, but we have to face it, if anything should happen to me, I want you to feel free to marry again. I have'nt liked saying this because I can't bear the thought of never seeing you again. But whatever happens your happiness is sacred to me and I don't want you to think that I would'nt want you to find happiness with somebody else, if I did'nt come back. It's too sordid to dwell on especially when I feel within me that everything will turn out alright but I've wanted to say it for a long time but never had the courage. Oh! There's nothing in my power I would'nt do for you. By the way, don't think I'm feeling morbid or sorry for myself - I hope I have'nt conveyed it but I suppose it has because I've touched on a depressing topic. I like my letters to cheer you up if I can, but every so often I suppose you get one with some thing in it that upsets you. I do so hope there are'nt many, because you must have enough to worry about you without me adding to the worries. Well my precious, it's time to close. I hope I dream of you tonight. God bless you, keep us both safe for each, all my love darling, ever your adoring, Sid xxxxxxx