Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Friday 24th August 1945, Marks Hall

Margaret darling,
                         This morning's newspapers have thrown a great gloom over Marks Hall and I should think over all service establishments. After all the encouraging 'semi-official' forecasts of last week, we are now told that there is to be no acceleration in release and the scheme in fact will work at the same rate as was originally planned months ago.

                          I can see the Govt's policy: they intend to resettle all the munition workers before releasing large numbers of of servicemen and from the point of view of avoiding unemployment, it is probably a wise plan. But this alternate raising and shattering of hopes is having rather a wearing effect on men's nerves.

                          The RAF have been putting on quite a spurt in the last few weeks and Griffiths, who is group 19, has been ordered to report at the demob-centre on Sept. 1st. I'll be very surprised if they release only three or four groups in the C.& C. branch between Sept. and the end of the year, and yet that is what is implied in today's Ministry of Labour announcement. We can only await the event, and for myself I am not going to worry about it. I'll fill in my time as well as I can with reading and study and I know that very soon you'll have plenty to keep you fully occupied.

                          Your letter of Wednesday came by yesterday evening's post. I pass over in offended silence your remarks about my shaky writing and pass on to the important matter of my leave. What do you think of making my leave period from 29th Sept. to 9th Oct? And of course as usual, I would try to travel north two days before the official start of my leave. I'd be in Glasgow for the 28th and as you're more likely to be late than early*, I think that is the best arrangement. Please confirm, or make alternative suggestions.

                          Five weeks today I should be on leave - and may be pacing the floor of Redlands, an object of sympathy or derision to all around. Actually I am quite confident that you will cope with the situation in your usual competent manner and though you may fittingly retort that I am being amazingly philosophic about your strenuous exertions, I can't help feeling that you have everything in your favour including a remarkably good set of  nerves. And dear heart, you'll be supported by most intense prayers to my own particular God, who is none the less potent because he is impersonal.

                         From the tone of your letters, you don't seem to be at all bored by your curtailed activity and I hope you are still keeping well and free from heartburn. It will soon be Sunday night again, and another week will be shoved into the Limbo. Till then, sweetheart, cheerio, and all my love ...

*The baby was in fact born on Sunday 30th September.

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