Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Thursday 19th July 1945, Marks Hall

My sweetheart,
                       Your welcome letter of last Tuesday arrived by this evening's post and I hope that by this time you have received my last letter. I'm glad to hear of your freedom from heartburn: it really does look as if my gluttony is indirectly the cause of your sufferings.

                       The weather has been extremely hot since I returned, with none of the relieving showers which the rest of the country seems to be getting. This afternoon I spent a drowsy hour sitting, with a few others equally somnolent, in the shade of the trees while an officer droned on about the history of trade unionism. This is part of the E.V.T. scheme which is now in operation. It is difficult to see the value of this kind of desultory education and the meetings seem to be popular with the airmen only because they are held during working hours. I learned nothing but a new sympathy for the numerous classes that I have bored with the same subject on many a hot summer afternoon.

                        As you remark, the newspapers are once again on the rampage about demobilisation but today's statement today's statement by the Ministry of Labour seems as vague and as complacent as ever. I'm afraid the whole business is a colossal muddle. After 2½ months of peace in Europe the only man who seems to have been demobbed in this place is one old fellow who would probably have died anyway if they hadn't got him out in time. Class B seems to be particularly chaotic and the official unwillingness to reveal the numbers released under this category seems to indicate that they were very few. Of course for a man like a bricklayer who is liable to be sent anywhere in the country, Class B release has nothing to recommend it. I presume that if teachers are taken out they can go back to their old employers: if not, they can put the scheme where the monkey put the nuts as far as I'm concerned. But with superannuation and other difficulties I don't see how the Ministry of Labour could 'direct' teachers to anything but their former jobs.

                        Meanwhile no-one knows anything about it and I'm hoping Mr Barclay can find some information for me.

                        I've got my new issue of service clothing coupons but there is nothing I want to buy at present. A propos of a dressing gown, I doubt if I could buy one even with the "special" coupons; such an article is certainly not listed with the non-military attire for which the special coupons are to be used.

                      Your injunction not to work too hard is funnier than you could possibly imagine. I have plenty of leisure and when the weather is less oppressive I hope to do quite a lot of serious reading. Very few people are busy these days in the services and it is the dreary prospect of lengthy inactivity that dismays most people.

                      Thanks for writing to Mr Meikle about Trevelyan: I am informed by one History teacher that there is doing to be a fairly large reprinting in the autumn, so perhaps I'll get a copy then. Everyone who has seen it says it is very well worth having.

                      I have had one night at Coggeshall and a very temperate one at that. The beer is undrinkable these days since none of the pubs has the means of keeping it down to the proper temperature. So you'll be gratified to know that most of my drinks are of the S.D.I. variety these sweltering days.

                      I am looking forward to hearing you on Sunday evening. Till then, my own darling, I hope you continue to enjoy our placid life. You are certainly looking well on it and I was greatly reassured by your radiant appearance. Take care of your self.

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