Sunday 23rd February 1947 – “a grim story of a blizzard in Blighty, ice floes in the North Sea and possible cuts in gas supplies”

14400541,
L/Cpl Moore J.,
as usual

Sunday morning
23/2/47.

Dear All,

I received four letters yesterday so I’ve got my work cut out today to answer them. Thanks for Gwladys’s letter of the 16th.

I have just been reading today’s paper which tell’s a grim story of a blizzard in Blighty, ice floes in the North Sea and possible cuts in gas supplies. And just to be cheerful it says that the cold spell may continue “well into March”. I wish it would change and no doubt you are wishing that even more than I am.

Well we’ve taken a few steps nearer demob. I’ve signed some papers and had my medical and passed it. All that remains now is to hand some kit in and then wait for the word go. There are no details about moving yet but the first batch won’t be leaving for two or three weeks at least.

Yesterday was quite a rush for me. I was on the rifle range from 7 a.m. till 12.45. Got back and was told I was on medical at 1.15. Between 12.45 and 1.15 I had my lunch and had a shower (cold water). After all that I didn’t feel very fit but I passed ok.

I had a letter from Mrs. Webb and she says they have received Ron’s gratuity book. I wonder if you have got mine?

I’m not sure if I’ve seen that film “The Green Years”. Was it about a boy going to live with people in Scotland and eventually being left money which enabled him to train to be a doctor?

We aren’t getting very good films here now. Last night we went to see “Gay Sisters” which wasn’t much good.

It’s a grand day here. The sun is shining, but unfortunately I’m on duty so I can only look through the window at it.

I’m going to try to ring Ron up again this morning. If I can’t speak to him I might be able to leave him a message to ring me tonight when I shall be on duty again.

That’s about all once again.

Don’t think I haven’t got any proper paper. I have got a pad but I’m trying to make it last!

Cheerio,
Lots of Love,
John
xxxxxxx

P.S. Enclosed was taken on the same day as the last snap I sent. This one was taken just after we got off the truck and we were walking across to the tents. J.

THE END – This is the 508th and final letter in the collection

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Wednesday 19th February 1947 – “Fortunately it didn’t last long and the tents stood up to it ok”

14400541,
L/Cpl Moore J.,
etc.

Wednesday
19 Feb. 1947.

Dear All,

Just a short letter as I haven’t got one to answer.

I’ve just come back from the pictures, there was nothing special on.

I had a letter from Kath today and she tells me there is no improvement in the weather or the final situation. It’s about time there was an improvement.

The weather here has been other changeable since I last wrote. On Monday night we had a terrible thunderstorm. It’s a long time since I heard it rain so hard. Fortunately it didn’t last long and the tents stood up to it ok. Since then it hasn’t been very settled, though it hasn’t rained.

Well it’s short and sweet but I’ll write a longer letter when I hear from you.

So for now
Cheerio,
Lots of Love,
John
xxxxxx

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Sunday 16th February 1947 – “it was a warm lazy sort of day, ideal for cricket”

14400541,
as usual

Sunday
16 Feb. 1947.

Dear All,

You’ll have to excuse the paper, but I’m on duty and as I expected to be busy I didn’t come prepared for letter-writing. It has turned out to be very quiet so I’m taking advantage of it.

I have just received Dad’s letter of the 11th, thanks for it, but what a tale of woe. I don’t suppose anybody expected the cold spell to last as long as it has done. It must be terrible, and the floods will be bad even when the snow goes. Let’s hope we get a really good summer this year anyway.

The weather here is settling down nicely now. We had a cricket match yesterday afternoon and it was a warm lazy sort of day, ideal for cricket. I didn’t do so badly, caught four chaps and scored 22 runs. There’s more interest in sport than anything else here, anything apart from demob that is.

It’s time Gordon and I heard something definite, but there’s no need to worry. Details of moving will be out in due course. It’s only 39 days to March 27th, so if we are in the first batch we should be leaving here in just over three weeks.

By the way don’t think I’m being funny when I tell you how nice the weather is here. Actually I feel a bit guilty talking about it but I don’t suppose it can make you feel any colder.

There’s a lot of speculation now as to whether British Troops are to be withdrawn from Palestine but even if that is the final decision I don’t suppose it will come into effect for a long time yet.

Well that’s about all once again. Only about ten more letters and I can give my pen a well earned rest!

Cheerio,
Lots of Love,
John
xxxxxxxx

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Friday 14th February 1947 – ” they had to rely on juggling, dancing, tightrope-walking and things you could watch”

14400541,
as usual

Friday
14-2-47.

Dear All,

I was pleased together Mam’s letter of the 6th yesterday. The mail is coming through more regularly now, but it is still taking quite a time to reach here.

As far as I can gather from the news the weather in England hasn’t got any worse in the last two or three days, and it looks as if supplies of coal are arriving so I hope there is a general improvement by now.

I hardly like to tell you how nice the weather is here. I only wish it was the same in England. It’s just like English Spring weather, not too hot but sunny and pleasant.

I don’t think I would have recognised Mac from that photo. I should say it was taken about 10 or 15 years ago.

On Wednesday afternoon I played football and we drew one each.

On Wednesday night we went to a show at the Camp Cinema. It was an Italian show (all nonessential British civvies having been evacuated). It was quite good, though with them not being able to speak English, they had to rely on juggling, dancing, tightrope-walking and things you could watch.

Last night we went to the pictures and saw “No, No, Nanette” which I had seen a few years ago at Anstey I believe.

Tonight I’m on duty and tomorrow afternoon I’m playing cricket.

Gordon and I are anxiously awaiting some definite information about 48 group. The dates of sailing should be through any day. The speed up hardly affected our group but 49s to 53s are lucky. One of our mates (52 group) now on Blighty leave would have been coming back here until demobbed in Sept. but now he will be demobbed in June so he’ll either stay in Blighty or go to Germany for a couple of months. I think 48 must be my unlucky number.

Well that’s about all for now. I’ll probably write again on Sunday

Cheerio,
Lots of Love,
John
xxxxxxx

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Monday 10th February 1947 – “they’ve received over fifty letters, most of them from girls”

14400541,
L/Cpl Moore J.,
etc.

Monday
10th Feb. 1947.

Dear All,

Well I said yesterday that I would write again today if there was any more mail, and I’m pleased to say there was a letter from Gwladys yesterday evening.

As I expected the main topic in the letter was the weather, and that was written a week ago. Now I see in today’s paper that “8,000 square miles of Britain is under snow” – “worst blizzard for 50 years” etc. etc. It must be terrible, but I hope it soon thaws, though the floods will be almost as bad when the snow starts going.

According to tonight’s wireless Mr. Atlee is making a statement tonight. But it is at 11.45 by our time so we shan’t know what it’s about until tomorrow morning. I wonder if it’s anything special.

Well I see Leicester City still have chances for the Cup. One of the chaps in my tent comes from Newcastle so we are anxiously awaiting the result of the replay.

Cricket is becoming popular here. We have a set of kit and spend most of our off duty time playing. I think they are trying to get a team up but I don’t suppose much progress will be made before I leave here. The weather is still very nice. It was a really warm, lazy day today. I hope it keeps like this now. It’s warmer at nights too. Round Christmas time it was a job to keep warm in bed. I bet you feel cold between the sheets these nights. Have they cut the gas supplies at all?

Four chaps here wrote up to a London paper, saying how lonely it was here etc. and would pen friends care to correspond. They did it partly for a joke, but already between them they’ve received over fifty letters, most of them from girls (of course). Some of the letters are very amusing. I don’t know whether all correspondents will receive replies but I doubt it.

That’s about all for now. Forty five days to do.

Cheerio,
Lots of Love and get rid of your colds,
John
xxxxxxxxxx

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Sunday 9th February 1947 – “I should think the average age in this section is below 20”

14400541,
L/Cpl Moore J.,
etc.

Sunday
Feb 9 ’47.

Dear All,

I was very pleased to get Dad’s letter yesterday. Day after day kept going by without mail until on Friday there was six days air mail missing. Of course we knew it was due to the bad weather in England. Anyway a small batch arrived yesterday and we are hoping there’ll be some more today.

Well I’m afraid you must be having worse weather now than when your letter was written. According to the papers it must be terrible, but I hope it soon improves. The fuel situation makes it so much worse.

It’s a pity you aren’t having a taste of our weather. It’s really grand here today. It’s still a bit too early to say that the weather has settled down but there should be a gradual improvement now. Do you realise that 1945 was the last winter I spent in Blighty, and I haven’t seen snow since we were in Holland in 1944?

Well, only 19 days left in this month. We should very soon know something definite about sailing dates etc.

I was on a ceremonial parade on Friday morning. One of the infantry battalions is leaving us to go to Eritrea so we had to parade to “march them out”.

There was some trouble here on Friday. There was going to be a football match in the afternoon, but the OC cancelled it at the last minute because he said there was work to be done. So everybody sulked and refused to volunteer for a darts team.

That’s how army life is these days, there’s not the old spirit between officers and men, not even amongst the men themselves. I think the main trouble is that there are so few men in the forces now. I should think the average age in this section is below 20. We have two officers, a Captain who is about the same age as me, and a second lieutenant who is 19 1/2 years old.

That seems to be about all for now. Pleased to say I’m fine and hope you are likewise. If there’s more mail from you today I’ll write again tomorrow.

Cheerio for now,
Lots of Love,
John
xxxxxxx

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Tuesday 4th February 1947 – ” I must have written about 1500 letters since September 1942″

14400541,
L/Cpl Moore J.,
etc.

Tues.
Feb. 4 1947.

Dear All,

Thanks for Mam’s letter which arrived this morning.

Phew, it nearly made me shiver to read it. I hope there’s been an improvement in the weather by now. You should soon be seeing signs of Spring, or am I being too optimistic?

No you won’t have many more letters to write now. I think we shall all be glad of a rest from letter writing, I know I shall. I must have written about 1500 letters since September 1942.

I had been wondering what to get in the way of demob clothing and thought a suit would be preferable to sports coat and flannels. Of course it depends what they have. I understand some chaps find plenty of choice while at other times there’s practically nothing. I think my overcoat will fit me OK because I don’t think I’ve grown.

We went to a show last night. It was the Middle East dance band and was very good indeed.

The weather has been grand here today. It can’t make up it’s mind whether to keep fine or not – we get a couple of warm days, then it turns cold and blows and rains like Hunstanton – remember? It will be getting quite warm by the time I set sail for home, but that won’t make me want to stay. Let’s hope we get a nice English summer this year.

Well it’s bed time so I’ll be closing.

Hope you are all well and free from colds in spite of the weather.

Lots of Love,
John
xxxxxxxxx

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Sunday 2nd February 1947 – “I read in yesterday’s paper that England was “in the grip of a cold spell””

14400541,
L/Cpl Moore J.,
etc.

Sunday
2-2-47

Dear All,

Just a very short letter as there’s no letter to answer and no news. The mail has been very poor for the last few days. I don’t know what the explanation is, perhaps it is the weather in Blighty, because I read in yesterday’s paper that England was “in the grip of a cold spell”.

The weather is rather changeable here all the time. It has changed so much that I’ve got a bit of a cold again. I haven’t caught it because I have been careless, I haven’t left any clothing off.Does Dad take any interest in the local football team these days? Duncan took over the management of the City at the beginning of the season and I thought that would be the end of the team. But they’ve been doing remarkably well lately. I take more interest in football when I’m away from home, I like to see the home team winning, even though I’ve never seen them play.

By the way I think I’m playing on Wednesday. It will be some much needed exercise anyway.

I went to the pictures last night and saw a long Walt Disney film called “The Three Caballeros”. I’ve seen it before but didn’t mind seeing it again.

One of my pals here went on home leave yesterday. He’s group 52 but will have four months to serve when he gets back so he can go home on leave. He won’t be back till April so I shan’t see him again.

I’m enclosing a photo I took at Haifa. It was taken from our billet looking down on the dock and part of the town. I was swindled with the film. It was one I bought in Egypt. It was in a Kodak box and had a Kodak backing but it wasn’t a Kodak film. The negatives are very poor.

That’s all for now. Hope to get some mail to answer very soon.

Cheerio for now,
Love,
John
xxxxxx

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Wednesday 29th January 1947 – “Here’s me working about 60 hrs. a week for £2-14-10”

14400541,
L/Cpl Moore J.,
etc.

Wed.
29-1-47
8.45 p.m.

Dear All,

Working Party_Jan 47

Just another short letter as (as usual) there isn’t much to write about.

Thanks for Gwladys’s letter which arrived today.

You seem to be having changeable weather, one letter says it is “Springy”, the next that it is snowing and freezing. Still it keeps changing here, we had a few warm days but yesterday it poured wth rain again.

I don’t know if I’ll be home to see the play if it is on March 29th. I hope I’ll be there anyway.

Some people are lucky with five day weeks. I don’t know what it’s coming to. Here’s me working about 60 hrs. a week for £2-14-10. There doesn’t seem much wrong with civvy street these days!?

It seems queer that you haven’t heard anything of Uncle Charlie but as you say he must be all right or you would have heard something.

Gordon is practically better now and will be starting again on Friday.

I’m enclosing a snap taken about a fortnight ago when we were out working. The dark chap at the front isn’t sunburnt, he’s an Anglo-Indian. I’m on the left of course.

Well that’s about all for now.

Hope you are all well,
Cheerio,
Lots of Love,
John
xxxxxx

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Sunday 26th January 1947 – “in a couple of months or just over I shall be out of the army forever”

14400541,
L/Cpl Moore J.,
etc.

Sunday.
26 Jan ’47

Dear All,

I’m on duty now (3 p.m.) and it is slacker than it has been for several weeks, so here goes with a letter.

First of all thanks for Dad’s letter received on Friday.

Pleased to hear you are having some nice weather. The same applies here now. Yesterday it was very nice and today has also been sunny and warm. It is very much like Spring English weather. I don’t know if the nice weather is on the way or if this is just a freak.

Well the first batch of Group 47 left here on Friday. There are two more batches to go then the really important group will start. I can hardly realise that in a couple of months or just over I shall be out of the army forever.

It seems funny but for the first time since I joined up I’ve got two good suits of battledress to my name. I’ve been trying to get a suit changed ever since I arrived at Alex and yesterday I succeeded. I now have to get stripes and signs sewn on, and it will be ready for me to go home in.

I can’t imagine what has happened to Ron. I haven’t heard anything of him since Christmas.

Had a letter from Mr. Chamberlain today. He says how good their turkey was – “so good that it took three of them to fetch it”. He says he’s leaving part of his garden for me to do, so it looks as if I’m going to be busy.

Well that’s about all for now. I’ll be writing again about Thursday.

Cheerio,
Love,
John
xxxxxx

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