Monday 3rd September 1945 – “a bit of cake in the evenings will help a lot”

14400541,
L/Cpl. Moore J.
“A” Section,
2 Company,
1st (Brit) Airborne Corps Signals,
“Langton”
Castle Rd.,
Weybridge,
Surrey.

Monday
3 Sept. ’45.

Dear All,

Just a few lines this time as I only posted a letter to you today.

I thought I’d write tonight though as I haven’t gone out, and the parcel arrived just after tea. Thanks very much for it. I’m eating like a hunter now, and the food we get, although it’s quite good, isn’t too plentiful. So a bit of cake in the evenings will help a lot.

It cleared up later on today and about 5 0’clock it was really hot.

This afternoon we went into Marlow for a shower, a much needed shower.

I really like being out here in the country. I know I wouldn’t like to be here in the winter, but just now it’s grand. A lot of chaps soon get fed up with the sight of fields all round them, but I suppose it’s depends on what you’ve been brought up to.

Well I think that’s all for now. I might write again tomorrow, but if I don’t it might not be worth writing again. I’ll see anyway.

Lots of Love,

John
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Monday 3rd September 1945 – ” There were too many Yanks there and they ruined what would otherwise have been a nice place”

14400541,
L/Cpl. Moore J.
“A” Section,
2 Company,
1st (Brit) Airborne Corps Signals,
“Langton”
Castle Rd.,
Weybridge,
Surrey.

Monday
Sept. 3. ’45.

Dear All,

I was going to write last night but didn’t manage it. I wouldn’t have been able to post it anyway, so it makes no difference.

I think the last time I wrote was on Friday after we had been into Slough the previous night.

Well on Friday night we went into Maidenhead (Stan and I) but we weren’t very impressed. There were too many Yanks there and they ruined what would otherwise have been a nice place. We just walked along by the river, round the town, then had ice cream and went to a canteen – not a very exciting night.

On Saturday, continuing our tour of the towns, we went to Reading. Again there was the same trouble – too many of our gallant allies! It was hopeless trying to get into the pictures so we went to the Theatre. It wasn’t much of a show, the chief attraction being a band which I saw in Brussels.

Yesterday and last night I was Picquet Commander. As everybody except me and my three men went out all day and night, I was in sole charge of the camp. Everything went according to plan except we had a bit of a “do” with the farmer when we went for water this morning. Apparently the truck going in yesterday broke his yard gate and he was moaning about it “would cost somebody five pounds when agent comes round and see it!” Still we fixed it for him and it’s as good as new now.

The weather has changed a bit and it looks threatening now. Hope we don’t get a lot of wet weather or that will make everybody fed up!

I’m hoping to be home for the week-end but with being out here I haven’t heard any more about it. I suppose they’ll send a relief out for me on Thursday.

Kath has asked me to go over their home for dinner and tea on Sunday. Apparently she doesn’t like “pinching our rations” all the time and they want me to have a couple of meals there to balance things up a bit. I told her I’d see about it.

Well there isn’t much to write about now, so I’ll close and write again very soon.

Lots of Love,

John
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Friday 31st August 1945 – “we are in a tiny camp about 2 miles from Beaconsfield”

14400541,
Sigmn. Moore J.
“A” Section,
2 Company,
1st (Brit) Airborne Corps Signals,
“Langton”
Castle Rd.,
Weybridge,
Surrey.

Friday
31st Aug ’45.

Dear All,

Well here we are out in the wilds. I came out here yesterday and we are in a tiny camp about 2 miles from Beaconsfield and about 6 miles from Slough, so I should say we are in Buckinghamshire.

We had quite a lot of trouble yesterday morning. I came out in a 15 cwt. truck from Weybridge and we left there at 9 o’clock. First of all we had a breakdown, but that didn’t take long to put right. We had to report first to a place called Marlow, and on the way we passed through some lovely countryside including Windsor where we had a good view of the castle. We got to Marlow about eleven o’clock but after touring round for an hour and a half we still hadn’t found the boys. So we made our way to Beaconsfield in the hope of finding the second camp but our luck was out. By that time (2.30 p.m.) we were getting browned off and hungry so we set off back for Weybridge. Then we met one of our despatch riders who guided us in here. No wonder we hadn’t been able to find them. The road leading to the camp is no better than the lane by the Covert used to be, and when you get to it there are only three huts, completely hidden by trees!

Still it’s OK now. I’m with Stan, another operator and the driver and it looks like being an easy time while it lasts. Apparently we only work the wireless from 7 a.m. to noon so we get plenty of time off! In fact I just got here in time yesterday to find them preparing to go into Slough by truck. So I dashed around and went with them. We went to the pictures and it was quite good. This afternoon we are having football etc. and then I think they are running a truck into Slough again.

My mouth is quite a bit better so I’m hoping I won’t have to go sick. It hurt a bit yesterday but I’ve hardly felt it today (touch wood!)

I was pleased to get Mam’s letter yesterday and to know that you were OK. Sounds as if you’ve been getting the same weather as us – very hot and thundery. Yesterday though, it rained a bit and since then it has been much cooler.

Ron should be at home now on his VJ 48 hrs. He was due to go last night and is getting an extra day for the actual VJ Day he missed. He will probably come out on this exercise next week.

Well that’s about all for now. Shall be looking out for the parcel in a day or two so hope it gets here all right.

I’ll write again in a day or two.

Cheerio and Lots of Love,

John
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Wednesday 29th August 1945 – ” just my luck to be on when a local general paid us a visit”

14400541,
Sigmn. Moore J.
“A” Section,
2 Company,
1st (Brit) Airborne Corps Signals,
“Langton”
Castle Rd.,
Weybridge,
Surrey.

8 p.m.
Wednesday
29 Aug ’45.

Dear All,

Just a few lines before I go to bed. I must have an early night tonight because I didn’t get any sleep last night.

The guard went off quite successfully. It was just my luck to be on when a local general paid us a visit. He turned out the guard when he arrived, that is to say I had to dash out with my men and “present arms” to him. He inspected us, asked me one or two questions and said “Good guard”, so that was O.K. although somebody with a sense of humour would have it that he said “Good God”! I’m glad it’s all over anyway.

In the last few hours my mouth has been hurting a bit and it’s making me feel a bit miserable. I don’t know what the trouble is. It’s nothing serious but if it isn’t better tomorrow I shall see about reporting sick.

A lot of the boys went out on that exercise today. I don’t know much about it but I’m supposed to be going out to join some of them tomorrow.

Well there doesn’t seem to be anything else to write about at the moment so I’ll pack up. I’ll write again in a day or two.

So for now,
Lots of Love,

John
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Monday 27th August 1945 – “in a way it’s a case of choosing between promotion and pals”

14400541,
Sigmn. Moore J.
“A” Section,
2 Company,
1st (Brit) Airborne Corps Signals,
“Langton”
Castle Rd.,
Weybridge,
Surrey.

7.45 p.m.
Monday
27-8-45.

Dear All,

This won’t be a very long letter as there’s not much to write about. It’s really just a matter of letting you know I got back OK.

Although the train wasn’t too full when it got to Leicester, there was the usual scramble for seats and I had to stand till we got to Market Harboro’. After that I had a comfortable seat all the way. Ron got on at Wellingboro’ and I met him at St. Pancras when we arrived there at half past eleven.

We did the same as before, walked all the way to Waterloo, had something to eat and drink in the canteen and then got in the train and went to sleep. The train left at 5 a.m. and went a long way round to get here. Anyway we arrived back here in the billet at half past six.

This afternoon we’ve been all the way to Epsom to the baths. It was a long way but well worth it.

Tomorrow I’m on the biggest job I shall get while holding my present rank. The job is that of Guard Commander. It is quite a responsible job and my turn has come rather sooner than I expected. Still I think I can do it all right and once it’s over I shan’t have to do it again for a few weeks. It’s a 24 hr. duty and there’s a ceremonial mounting and dismounting parade.

I know you want me to keep this stripe and go all out for further promotion, but I haven’t decided what to do yet. It’s a very difficult position because in a way it’s a case of choosing between promotion and pals. I’ve been with the boys (Ron and Co.) so long now that I just won’t be able to boss them about – it’s not natural. Still you can rely on me to think the matter out and decide what’s best.

Well, that’s all for now except to say how much I enjoyed being at home with you all again. Roll on the day when I’m home for good.

Cheerio for now
Lots of Love,

John
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Thursday 23rd August 1945 – “we are now waiting for the war office to decide what’s going to happen”

14400541,
Sigmn. Moore J.
“A” Section,
2 Company,
1st (Brit) Airborne Corps Signals,
“Langton”
Castle Rd.,
Weybridge,
Surrey.

3 p.m.
Thursday
23-8-45.

Dear All,

Just a few lines to catch this afternoon’s post. There’s practically nothing to write about for the simple reason that we are doing nothing.

The position isn’t at all clear. We’ve been told that officially we are “stood down” off our original draft and we are now waiting for the war office to decide what’s going to happen. So it’s all in the balance and anything can happen. In the meantime we are just hanging on here, doing guards, cookhouses etc. We’ve stopped all training on the technical side but pretty soon we are going to have trips round about in the trucks. These are to be called exercises but it will be “arranged” so that we break down at such places as Windsor, Hampton Court etc. Get the idea.

Also our Section Officer is making enquiries to see if we can get a party up to the House of Commons some day. So if we do get organised along those lines we shouldn’t get bored.

I’ve put in for my VJ 48 hrs. for the end of the first week of Sept. That is the 8th to 11th. I shan’t be home this week-end as I shall be on some sort of a job but I shall see what I can do about a day pass next week-end.

I was pleased to get Gwladys’s letter this morning. I’ve been doing well for mail just lately. I should think Arthur Brown will be home again in about three weeks time. I really ought to have written to him but I lost his address. I could go to see him some evening if I felt like it!

By the way the food is improving slightly. We’ve had a different arrangement for messing now we are in billets and it is better. All we have to do is get out of bed, grab our plates and walk to the bottom of the stairs. Just like home – ???

I was at Aldershot on Tuesday when I posted my last letter. A couple of us went there to take a piano and some tables.

Well I shall have to close now or I shan’t catch the 4 o’clock post. You should get this tomorrow.

Lots of Love,

John
xxxxxx

P.S. Haven’t time to read this through.

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Monday 20th August 1945 – “Weybridge isn’t much of a place itself, and the people seem very “stand-offish””

14400541,
Sigmn. Moore J.
“A” Section,
2 Company,
1st (Brit) Airborne Corps Signals,
“Langton”
Castle Rd.,
Weybridge,
Surrey.

10.15 p.m.
Monday
20-8-45.

Dear All,

Just a few lines before I go to sleep. I feel pretty tired as I didn’t get much sleep last night with being on picquet.

We moved this afternoon but we aren’t settled down yet. Weybridge isn’t much of a place itself, and the people seem very “stand-offish”. Still we can’t help being here and they’ll have to put up with us.

We went to the pictures tonight to see Bob Hope in “The Princess and the Pirate”. It was quite a good dilm.

When we came out we wandered round hoping to find a Fish and Chip shop or a canteen but there’s no such thing. So we came back and managed to scrounge a meat sandwich from the cookhouse.

I was pleased to get Dad’s letter this morning. I hardly expect to get home this week-end because we shall have plenty to do for a bit. They haven’t said any more about the VJ 48 yet but we are hoping to get it soon. So until we get settled down a bit you mustn’t expect to see me. I think we shall be here for some time so we should get normal leave again in due course.

I must close now as it’s nearly quarter to eleven. I’ll write again in a day or two.

Lots of Love,

John
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Saturday 18th August 1945 – “they can’t think of anything useful to put us on”

14400541,
Sigmn. Moore J.
“A” Section,
2 Company,
1st (Brit) Airborne Corps Signals,
“Langton”
Castle Rd.,
Weybridge,
Surrey.

3.50 p.m.
Saturday
18 Aug ’45

Dear All,

Just a few lines, chiefly to let you know the new address. We haven’t moved yet but we shall be moving on Monday.

Today and tomorrow are normal working days, but we aren’t doing anything special today. Tomorrow we’ve got to scrub the huts out and tomorrow night I’m on Fire Picquet. We are likely to get more of these unnecessary duties when we get to Weybridge because they can’t think of anything useful to put us on.

Yesterday was Ron’s birthday but I’d forgotten all about it.

I’ve just this minute received Mam’s letter which was posted on Wednesday. I was glad to get it even though I’d seen you since.

Well I warned you it would be a short letter and there it is.

Lots of Love,

John
xxxxxx

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Thursday 16th August 1945 – “got singles to Virginia Water (4d) and caught the 9.57 down!”

14400541
etc.

Thursday.
16 Aug ’45
11.15 p.m.

Dear All,

Just a very few hasty lines to let you know I got back OK about half an hour ago. Thought I’d write now because some of the boys are out “celebrating” and we probably shan’t get much sleep for a bit!

Well we made it without any trouble at all. As Kath probably told you, Jack (the Derby boy) had got a seat for me on the train so we travelled in comfort all the way. We got to St. Pancras at 7.40 p.m. and passed the MPs without any bother. Got to Waterloo in nice time for the 8.24. There we saw Jock who was orderly corporal last night and he told us he’d squared everything back at the camp. He also told us that there was a 20 mile limit on travel so we got out at Staines, gave up our tickets, went to a canteen and then went back, got singles to Virginia Water (4d) and caught the 9.57 down!

So briefly there it is. I don’t appear to be on anything special tomorrow. Next week we are moving to Weybridge and we are to have unit celebrations (sports etc.) spread over a couple of days. Also as soon as we get to Weybridge they are going to send us on VJ 48 hr passes, 5% of the company at a time! Apart from that everything is normal.

Well I’m really pleased with myself. Pleased that I took the chance and got home, because it was simply grand being home at such a happy time. Of course it wouldn’t do to take a risk like that too often but it was worth it just once.

No more now. I might write again tomorrow.

Lots of Love,

John
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Monday 13th August 1945 – “there were crowds of people about even at that unearthly hour”

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

8 p.m.
Monday
13 Aug. ’45.

Dear All,

Well off we go again. I’m writing just the same as I did a fortnight ago and I shall have to use the post box here in the camp so you might not get it till about Thursday.

The train was a bit late getting into Leicester but surprisingly enough there wasn’t a very big crowd waiting on the station. It was pretty full though and I travelled as far as Wellingborough in a luggage van. There were quite a few chaps in there and we all managed to get seated on cases and boxes. When we got to Wellingborough though, all our “seats” were unloaded by some foreigners who were changing there and who owned all the luggage! I couldn’t see Ron but I got out of the train and walked along the platform until I found a seat. From then on it was quite a comfortable journey and hardly anybody else got on the train.

We got to St. Pancras just after 11.30 and I waited at the barrier for Ron. He was there and he had been quite lucky in getting a seat.

The tubes had stopped running so we walked all the way to Waterloo. We didn’t rush and we’d got five hours to spare and it was half past twelve when we crossed the Thames near Big Ben. Of course we had plenty to talk about and it was quite a pleasant walk; there were crowds of people about even at that unearthly hour.

We went into a canteen and then went onto the platform where the train was already in. We stretched ourselves out on a couple of seats (that was 2 o’clock) and the next thing we knew was when the train pulled out at 5.27. We hadn’t bothered to enquire whether we were on the right train but luckily for us we were!

We were back here in plenty of time and I haven’t felt so tired this time. Of course we haven’t worked particularly hard!

There’s no need for me to tell you how much I enjoyed myself at home, and I hope that if we do have to go away I’ll be home again before we go. There’s a lot of speculation as to whether we will go or not but of course nobody knows. The general opinion is that we will go eventually but that it won’t be for very long and of course it won’t be nearly so bad now. Anyway we’ll soon know something I suppose.

We had a short letter from Curly today. He didn’t say much really except that up to the time of writing it hadn’t been nearly so hot as he’d expected. He says there’s plenty of everything to be bought but that the prices are pretty high. He was wondering what was going to happen to us now.

We are moving to Weybridge next Saturday. The choice of the day has caused quite a lot of “comment” because it will stop all passes for next week-end. Still that’s the way the army works.

Well that’s all for now. Hope to hear from you very soon.

For now,
Cheerio and Lots of Love,

John
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