5731671 Tpr Williams R
HQ Sqn 43rd Recce
My Darling Chotie,
Received your letter when on a scheme which brightened me up considerably. Had a pretty wicked time – really cold at night and raining all the first 48 hrs. However, am now back and getting something to eat once again. I’m addressing this missive to your Army address, as I don’t know when you’ll be home.
I had a wire from Brinner saying he was on embarkation leave and asking whether I could get a compassionate leave. If you remember, however, I tried this dodge once before, but on compassionate leave they check-up now so have written back to find out whether its genuine. If it is, I’ll try to get a 48 hr compassionate early next week.
There’s nothing much to write about. Life’s rather dull here, always nothing doing. Hope you’re a bit better off at Northants. I go to Evening Classes two of three nights a week to relieve the monotony. Take French and German and am also a member of a Post-War Reconstruction Committee! Quite entertaining. Unhappily I missed it tonight as the whole billet had to lay out kits again owing to a bad show this morning.
The boys chip me about your efforts saying you’ll probably contribute more to the War Effort on a Gunsite than I ever will…. Still, I bear up, in the true du Rose fashion (incidentally I haven’t heard from that Rat yet).
When will you get your first leave (7 days) If you let me know I may be able to hold mine on for a few weeks. I can’t guarantee anything but will do my best. Don’t forget.
I don’t relish leave without seeing you. We could probably spend half at Poole and half at home.
Saw a good show at the Hippodrome. Did I mention it in my last? Believe I did.
Sample of jokes there:-
Two old women in a pub.
“Are you going to have another one?”
“No Dear – it’s just the way I’ve got this coat done up”….
I’d better close here owing to lack of material.
Still love you Darling, - hope to see you soon
love & kisses
© Chotie Darling
This letter was addressed to:
Private Chalkley B.E.
No 3Coy* Hut E1
No1 A.T.S. TC
NB. THIS LETTER WAS FIRST POSTED ON 23rd JANUARY BUT MOVED TO CORRECT DATE
43rd Recce had Church Parade on Sunday 31st January. On 1st February there was a cross country run and Section Training continued from the 1st to the 7th.
31st January 1943 – surrender of the Germans at Stalingrad, Russia with the capture of Generalfeldmarschell Paulus and Generalleutnant Arthur Schmidt, who was by then in charge.
Bomber command makes first operational use of H2S radar, the first airborne ground scanning radar system. (From WW2-net.)
Chotie managed to have 48 hours leave at home after her three weeks of Basic Training.
ATS recruits were only allowed 48 hours leave in their first three months.
2nd February 1943 – The remnants of the German Sixth Army in Stalingrad surrender. One of the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare it had started on 23rd August 1942 and claimed nearly 2 million casualties. The Red Army took about 90,000 prisoners at Stalingrad. Nearly half had died by the spring from wounds or starvation and only 5,000 of the Germans taken prisoner survived to return to Germany after the war; the last arriving in 1955. The defeat was covered up in Germany but soon leaked out delivering a bitter blow to morale. (From ‘The Second World War’ by Antony Beevor, published by Weidenfield and Nicolson 2012 )