My Darling Chotie,
I’m writing this now as I won’t be able to write for the next week or so owing to a scheme.
Hope you have got used to your new life by now. I expect you’re feeling quite an old soldier after three weeks service. Seems ages since I heard from you, though I suppose that you’ve discovered that writing letters is just about the last thing you feel like in the services.
I’ve just come back from the Hippodrome. Went with this newly acquired friend of mine* – quite an exotic thing there this week – from Cuba. I suspect it’s more like Whitechapel though we must be rational over these matters.
Haven’t had any beer for over a week and feel rather poorly for that reason.
Found time to read LAG Stong’s “Dewer Rides”**, WS Maugham’s “The Moon and Sixpence”*** and re-read “The Colonel’s Daughter”****.
I shall only send you some shekels if you agree to buy something definite – ie not repeat NOT beer….If it goes on beer you’ll get spanked, so take your choice.
I’m dying to see you in uniform… How’s the skirt?
I must close here to catch up on my kip so will finish this tomorrow.
Well, it’s now Sunday, our famous typically English day of mourning. There’s no church parade for me so I have a little time to relax. We’re on parade this afternoon for loading the vehicles ready for the scheme.
Rather chilly this morning – hope it warms up a bit for the next few days. Don’t mind sleeping under the stars on occasions but not in inches of snow or mud.
Had a letter from Monica a couple of days back. Full of her offspring. I’m pleased she had a daughter – it was really what she needed, I think.
I haven’t got my truck for this stunt so will have to travel in a carrier – lovely and warm and plenty of kip.
Well Darling I must close here – as there’s nothing I can tell you in writing.
Hope I can see you before very long – seems ages since I last saw you already.
All my love Precious
PS No news from that Rat DuRose…
*Trooper Don Johnston
**a novel of old Dartmoor featuring Dewer, the evil spirit of the earth.
***the story of an artist in Paris and Tahiti, inspired by the life of Paul Gauguin
****possibly John Strange Winter’s “The Strange Story of My Life (The Colonel’s Daughter)” although there are a number of books with this title.
© Chotie Darling
NB. THIS LETTER WAS FIRST POSTED ON 30TH JANUARY BUT MOVED TO CORRECT DATE
Church Parade was held on Sunday 24th January and there were preparations for Exercise “Hammer II” which took place in Kent from 25th to 28th January 1943 with rain on 25th, fine on 26th, mist on 27th and rain again on 28th. Cold throughout. On 29th January 43rd Recce returned to Section Training, with Vehicle Maintenance accompanied by the Commanding Officer’s vehicle inspection on Saturday 30th. (From the War Diary of the 43rd
Reconnaissance Regiment held by the Archive and Reference Library, the Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset.)
26th January 1943 – The German Rommel, the German Commander in North Africa, is told he is to be ‘relieved’ by the Italian General Messe. (From Chronology of World War II.)
27th January 1943 – the US air force made its first raid on Germany hitting Emden and Wilhelmshaven and demonstrating their favoured strategy of precision bombing in daylight. (From WW2-net Timelines and Chronology of World War II.)
28th January 1943 – all of the German workforce is mobilised for ‘total war’. (From WW2-net Timelines.)
British 8th Army captures Tripoli, the capital city of Libya.
30th January 1943 – Le Milice, the secret police modelled on the Nazi German Gestapo is formed in France under the command of Joseph Darnand, the Secretary General of Vichy France. (From Chronology of World War II.)
Daylight bombing of Berlin by the Allies on the 10th Anniversary of Nazi Germany interrupts Herman Göring’s commemoration speech.