Monday 30th July 1945 – ” so many more had got in that there wasn’t even room to sit on the floor!”

14400541,
Sigmn. Moore J.,
A Section,
2 Company,
1st (Brit) Airborne Corps Sigs.,
Old Club House
Virginia Water,
Surrey.

7.30 p.m.
Monday
30 July ’45

Dear All,

Just a few lines as promised to let you know I got back OK.

There wasn’t a very big crowd waiting for the train at Leicester and I thought there would be plenty of room. When the train pulled in however, it was absolutely packed. There were people lying in the corridors and some were even trying to sleep in the luggage racks! I just managed to get on the train and after a bit slithered on to the floor and dozed off a bit but I couldn’t stretch my legs out because there were so many bodies sprawled all over the place. By the time we got to Bedford so many more had got in that there wasn’t even room to sit on the floor!

We got into London at exactly 6 o’clock and I sprinted to the tube in the hope of getting to Waterloo by 6.24. But I didn’t quite manage it. I actually arrived at Waterloo at half past six, but fortunately there was a train to Virginia Water at 6.52 and this was already in. So I got on it and the next thing I knew was being woken up in Virginia Water! Apparently I was fast asleep but one of the boys who knew me by sight happened to get in the same carriage and he woke me, otherwise I would have gone right on to Reading.

I just got back to the camp at eight o’clock, nipped up to the cookhouse for a mug of tea, changed, put my boots and gaiters on, grabbed my rifle and got on the square for 8.30 just as the boys were forming up for parade. My luck was in again because our rifles weren’t inspected. We had about half an hour’s drill and that was about all that happened during the morning. The worst was this afternoon when we went for a five mile route march. Normally I wouldn’t have minded it but I felt pretty tired even before we started and an afternoon in bed would have done me more good. Still it’s all over now and I shall have a good night’s sleep tonight and I’ve got an easy job tomorrow. All I have to do is clean the wash-place out in the morning and that’s my day’s work finished.

In spite of the fact that it was a tiring journey back it was worth it. It was quite a nice break and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Quite a few chaps are hoping to get passes next week-end and after that I shall be on the waiting list again – I hope.

Ron had a bit of trouble getting back but he got here before me this morning. Jack (the Derby boy) was on the same train as me but he was in the luggage van right at the front of the train so he was first off at St. Pancras and got to Waterloo just in time to catch an earlier train.

I don’t think theres anything else to write about and I want to drop Kath a few lines before I go to bed, so I’ll close.

Lots of love,

John
xxxxxxxx

P.S. Note slight change in wording of address.

Posted in 1945 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Thursday 26th July 1945 – “although they can’t make me go into Church they can make me go on the parade”

14400541 etc.

26/7/45

Dear All,

Just a very short note before I get into bed.

I’ve now got over my inoculation and feel OK again.

Last night Ron, Curly and I went into Staines and went boating on the river for a couple of hours. It was a lovely evening and we really enjoyed it.

Today it has been wet and windy and we’ve had parades and inspections all day.

Tomorrow I’m on cookhouse and as far as I know I’m not on anything on Saturday or Sunday. But the chances of getting a pass aren’t too good because we’ve heard that there’s a Church Parade and a lot of men will not be able to have passes because of that. I’m hoping that as I’m not C of E I shan’t be required but, although they can’t make me go into Church they can make me go on the parade so I don’t know what will happen. Anyway I shan’t know till Saturday afternoon and it’s no good worrying, it’s out of my hands.

Well it’s nearly lights out so I’ll pack up. Hope you are all well.

Ron sends his kind regards as usual.

That’s all for now,
So Goodnight and
Lots of love,

John
xxxxxxxxx

Posted in 1945 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Tuesday 24th July 1945 – “We are all going to learn to drive soon so it might be interesting and useful”

14400541 etc.

9 p.m.
Tuesday.
24 July ’45.

Dear All,

Just a few lines before I go to bed. I was inoculated this afternoon and I don’t feel very lively at the moment. I shall be OK again by tomorrow.

Our training programme really starts next week and the rest of this week will be taken up with P.T., route marches etc. We are all going to learn to drive soon so it might be interesting and useful.

Don’t think when I talk about training that we are going to be here for months. They are getting on with it because we might be here for a month or five weeks, and they’ve got to give us something to do.

I don’t want to raise any hopes but I might manage a day pass soon, anyway I’m going to try for one. I shall apply for one for this week-end. Now, please don’t take it that I’m coming. Probably it won’t be possible but there is just a chance. If it doesn’t come off this time there is no reason to think that I shan’t get home again, but I don’t want you to build up too much hope because disappointments occur too often with leave. So just carry on as usual and expect me if and when you see me.

I was pleased to get Dad’s letter this morning and to get all the latest news.

So you’ve got new neighbours again. They don’t let anybody settle, do they?

Well I’m ready for bed so I’ll sign off for now.

Cheerio and
Lots of love,

John
xxxxxxxx

Posted in 1945 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Monday 23rd July 1945 – “we’ve finally finished up just where we started – just like the army!”

14400541 etc.

7 p.m.
Monday.
23 July 1945.

Dear All,

Thanks very much for the diary and Mam’s letter and cigarette lighter which I received at tea time. I was wondering if I should hear from one of you today.

There isn’t a lot to write about really. I had a pretty easy day in the mess room yesterday but didn’t finish till nearly six o’clock, so Ron and I just went into Staines for a walk by the river.

Today it has been very sunny and hot. We’ve been changing our beds round into different huts nearly all day and we’ve finally finished up just where we started – just like the army!

At the moment I’m sitting in the NAAFI but it is a bit noisy with the wireless on and chaps playing table tennis.

Mam asks how Curly is. Well he’s all right and by all accounts he had a nice wedding.

They had some good photographs taken. He got my present safely and seemed quite pleased with it.

You can send me some flints some time but there’s no immediate hurry.

Well not being a long letter writer (like Charlie) I think I’ll close.

Lots of love,

John
xxxxxxxxx

Posted in 1945 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Saturday 21st July 1945 – “We hadn’t got late passes but we got in the back way all right”

14400541 etc.

Saturday night.
21 July ’45.

Dear All,

I’m staying in tonight to write a few letters. Ron is on Fire Picquet all night and we have been out for the last two nights so I didn’t feel like going out.

On Thursday we got late passes and went into Staines by truck. We went to the pictures but I forget what the film was called. I know Spencer Tracey was in it but it wasn’t so good. We caught a train back and got back to the camp here at eleven o’clock.

Yesterday I was Company Salvage man. That was an easy job, consisting of going round the camp collecting paper in a sack. Anyway I started at 9 a.m. and finished about twenty past so it wasn’t really a big job! Still it kept me off the morning and afternoon parades, because when the two o’clock parade was on I arranged to find a bit of cardboard and took it to the sack!

Last night we went into Staines again and went to the pictures again, this time to see my favourites Abbott and Costello. After we came out we went to a canteen for supper and caught the train back. We hadn’t got late passes but we got in the back way all right.

I’m mess room orderly tomorrow. This is an all day job so I don’t suppose I’ll finish till after tea.

Sometime next week we’ve got to have an inoculation and I think we start a training programme, consisting mainly of lectures, route marches and P.T.

I’ve just written to Dorrell and I want to write one or two more letters before I get to bed so I’ll pack up now.

Hope you are all well, and hope to hear from one of you very soon.

Lots of love,

John
xxxxxxxx

P.S. I’ve been thinking that as we might be here for a few weeks I could do with that khaki shirt. We ought to get a few days notice before we do move so I can send it back in good time.
J

Posted in 1945 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Wednesday 18th July 1945 – “I’ve got one main ambition – that is to get out of the army as quickly as possible”

14400541 etc.

Wed.
18-7-45.

Dear All,

I was very pleased to get Mam’s letter yesterday and Gwladys’s today. I don’t feel so bad now, especially as the mail is coming through so well. I don’t expect to finish this tonight but I’ll start now and finish tomorrow.

Pleased to hear Gwladys got back OK and had a good time. I didn’t envy her that journey on Saturday.

We look a bit different now when we’re dressed up. We’ve got our medal ribbons up, maroon berets and new signs instead of the “trees”. We look like real old sweats!

We’ve had to blanco all our kit and polish all our brasses so what with that and sewing we’ve been busy. Ron and I missed a dental inspection by being on cookhouse yesterday bit I suppose they’ll catch up with us soon.

We stand a chance of being grabbed for guard every fourth night but so far we’ve been lucky and we keep hoping!

The weather is fine but not very sunny. Still it could be worse, this would be a dismal place if it rained much.

Thursday dinner

There isn’t much more to write about this time. Ron and I are hoping to get into Staines tonight and we shall try to go to the pictures. Unless we have late passes we are supposed to be in by half past ten but so far they haven’t bothered much.

Gwladys needn’t worry herself – I know my responsibilities only too well, but I don’t see why I should get more ambition. I’ve got one main ambition – that is to get out of the army as quickly as possible. After that the other ambitions will be dealt with!

I don’t want you to build up any hopes about me getting home again before we move off. On the other hand you know that if there’s half a chance I’ll take it. But don’t be disappointed if I don’t manage it.

Well I must close now as it’s dinner time.

I’ll write again in a day or two and hope to hear from you again soon.

Lots of love,

John
xxxxxxxx

Posted in 1945 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Monday 16th July 1945 – “We are getting our medal ribbons in a day or two”

14400541,
Sigmn. Moore J.,
Main W/Less Section,
1st Brit. Airborne Corps Sigs (Light),
Old Club House,
Wentworth,
Virginia Water,
Surrey

16-7-45.

Dear All,

Just a very few lines. Ron and I are on cookhouse tomorrow so there might not be time to write then.

We are settling down gradually and haven’t done a lot of real work yet. The general idea seems to be to smarten everybody and everything up. We are getting our medal ribbons in a day or two and there’s a lot of fuss about them.

The food is the same as before – just passable, but the cake and stuff we had all brought down is helping quite a bit!

Before I forget. I left my cigarette lighter and diary at home. As far as I know I didn’t have anything else but if you find them you can send them on any time. The diary is a small grey one, I don’t think there’s anything very personal in it but you needn’t read it!

There’s nothing I want at the moment but I’ll let you know when I do want anything.

You’d better try to remember the address because I don’t want to have to write it out every time!

Well it’s now 7 o’clock and we are going for a walk so I’ll be signing off.

I might not write again for a day or two but we’ll see.

So for now I’ll say,
Cheerio
Lots of love,

John
xxxxxx

Posted in 1945 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Sunday 15th July 1945 – “I’m not really fed up but I had such a grand leave”

14400541,
Sigmn. Moore J.,
Main W/Less Section,
1st (Brit) Airborne Corps Sigs (Light),
Old Club House,
Wentworth,
Virginia Water,
Surrey

15 July ’45.

Dear All,

Well here we are back again and not liking it too much.

The train was a bit late on the way down but I was lucky enough to get a seat. I didn’t see Jack because he came on the later train, and incidentally he got stranded in London all night. I went round to Euston to see if I could see Ron and Curly but the station was so crowded that I gave up and made my way to Waterloo. The train left there at 9.24 and before it went the rest of the boys all turned up so it made it a bit better.

There were trucks waiting at the station for us and we got to the camp here at 10.30 p.m. We had to find out what section we were in, get our beds and find a hut to sleep in. Fortunately we are all in the same section – (all the gang I mean) and I’m in the same hut as Ron, Jack and Tich. Apart from those consolations there’s nothing much to cheer us up. A thunderstorm started just before 11 last night and lasted about four hours. It was the worst I have ever known and I wonder if it got up your way.

There was a parade this morning and we got a job. Now we’ve just had dinner and we are waiting to see if there’s going to be a parade at 2.

I’m not really fed up but I had such a grand leave that it’s naturally going to take longer to settle down. I hope none of you are at all down hearted. It may be some weeks before we move off but we don’t really know. Apparently we shall be having vaccinations, dental inspections etc. for the next week or so.

I thought a lot about Gwladys yesterday and hope she got home OK. It certainly was warm travelling.

Well that’s all for now. I’ll be writing again in a day or two. Hope you can read the new address, and remember,

Keep smiling,
All my love,

John
xxxxxx

Posted in 1945 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Wednesday 13th June 1945 – “you can guess how we came across, by plane”

14400541,
Sigmn. Moore J.,
Main W/Less Section,
12 Corps Signals,
Old Club House,
Wentworth,
Virginia Water,
Surrey

Wednesday
13-6-45.

Dear All,

Cor, what an address! It nearly fills a page in itself but this looks like being our abode for a bit anyway.

I suppose this comes as a bit of a surprise to you and even I can’t believe it yet. So much seems to have happened in the last week. Just think of the money the army wastes, they took me across by boat, put me on a train for a 20 hr. journey, take me about a hundred and thirty miles by lorry, keep me for a few days and then send me all the way back. We only left Hamburg at 11 o/c yesterday morning and we were in England by 2 p.m. so you can guess how we came across, by plane. We certainly have some experiences in this mob. It was a lovely trip and I’ll never forget it. The weather wasn’t too good when we took off but we went above the clouds and the sun was shining up there. Then it cleared up and we could see the ground and see below quite clearly. It’s surprising how queer it makes you feel though, occasionally there was a bump and the plane dropped a bit making your stomach feel the same as it does in a lift. I really enjoyed it though and didn’t feel at all sick.

Anyway here we are, and don’t be deceived by the address. We are in a camp, nisson huts, and no civilisation for about two miles. Still it’s quite a pretty place and anywhere in England suits be better than over there. I only wish they’d put us in the Midlands somewhere.

We might be on leave soon but we don’t know anything definite yet about what’s going to happen but you can imagine how the rumours are spreading! Still if I don’t walk in the house before my next letter I might be able to give you more information when I write.

I don’t feel really settled and I think this must be a rambling sort of letter.

Pleased to say I received Mam’s letter last Saturday and Dad’s today. I also received an Illustrated Chron. today and see they cut Dad out of the photo there – very disappointing!

Well I think that’s all I’ll write now, I’ve got to look for a post box and remember to put a stamp on the letter – it’s just like old times again.

Carry on writing as usual but don’t send any parcels just in case we get sent on leave suddenly.

Also be prepared for anything from now on. You’ve had one surprise and it might not be the last.

Ron sends his kind regards as usual.

For now,
Lots of love,

John
xxxxxx

Posted in 1945 | Tagged | Leave a comment

Friday 8th June 1945 – “don’t expect any more letters from me for some time”

14400541,
Sigmn. Moore J.,
Main HQ W/Less Section,
2 Company,
12 Corps Signals,
B.L.A.

Friday
8 June 1945.

Dear All,

Just a note to let you know I got back OK this evening. It was a bit of a scramble and a very tiring journey but I’ll tell you more about it some other time.

What I want to say is don’t expect any more letters from me for some time. When you do hear from me you might be pleasantly surprised at the postmark so keep hoping and don’t worry. I’ve caught up with Ron and one or two of them and we are all staying together. The main trouble is that my kit is all away and it will be some time before I see it again.

I’m sorry to be so vague about it all but you know how it is. Don’t write again till you hear from me and don’t worry. Ron sends his kind regards and thinks the “Duke” and “Duchess” photo is grand.

No more now
Lots of love,

John
xxxxxx

Posted in 1945 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment