Monday, Dec. 9th/40
9 Bonamy St.
Monday again! The weekend was quiet and uneventful. I went over to Blackheath Saturday afternoon and remained there all night. Betty came over from Richmond on Friday, after school, and stayed with Olive until last night. I saw her home to 23 Marchmont Rd., on my way home here. I was lucky as there was a letter from you, No. 27, waiting for me. It had arrived Saturday afternoon. I arrived back home here about 11 p.m. and was sound asleep before 11:30, and heard nothing of the bombing which took place from then til morning.
In your letter you state you think some of mine have failed to reach you. It must be difficult then for you to understand why I am here and what I am doing. I came over here, at the above address, on the 23rd day of October. I got tired waiting for word from the R.A.F. and thought it best that I should be doing something useful. I set out for a job of some sort, and the first thing I came across was a job helping to remove debris from a factory premises, which had been hit by a bomb abut that time. I began work on the 23rd Oct. at approximately 3 pounds per week. As it was not practical for me to remain at Miss Sendamore's, it being too far from work, I found a 'digs' a block or two away from my work. As most houses in the area are windowless and somewhat damaged, I was lucky to find one with a room available. My landlady, Mrs. Doran, is a kind old Irish lady, about sixty-five. She lives alone and her son-in-law lives next door. Mrs. Doran cooks me a hot meal at noon and makes tea for me for breakfast and supper. I buy my own groceries, as many items are restricted to the use of the individual and must be obtained by him by a system of ration coupons.
Shortly after coming here I discovered that Betty's married sister, Olive Garvin, whose husband is a doctor, lives at Blackheath, only a 1 1/2 d. ride from here by bus. Olive and the Dr. came down for me, when they heard that I was here and took me over to their home. I go over to Blackheath one or two evenings a week and for the odd weekend. They are jolly good company and seem glad to have me go over to visit them. They occupy one room and a kitchen, in a very old house. Dr. Garvin is in the R.A.M.C. and has to live near his post.
Last Sunday we walked over to Greenwich, saw the observatory, where the 1 degree Longitude, the 1 foot, 1 inch and various other scientific units are recorded. I was surprised to see a monument there to James Wolfe (the conqueror of Quebec City). We looked about to see why such a monument should be in that locality, when to my added surprise we came across an old-fashioned brick house with the information plaque stated that James Wolfe lived here in 1730. (I think this is the correct date.) I had no idea that he was from this part of England. Another impressing feature of the site of the monument and his home, is its likeness to the Plains of Abraham. A very similar escarpment overlooking the Thames. In this case the hill is not quite so high.
I am enclosing the 'Air Mail' letter. It arrived the same day as the letter which you sent by ordinary post the following day, Nos. 25 & 26 they were. I am also sending you the stamps that you asked for.
Well Sweetheart, I have been working now for over six weeks. Still I have not received word from the Air Force. I am very disappointed and am just about at a loss to know what to do next. I have partially made up my
mind to continue working until January and then follow out my original plans and go to sea. I shall have no trouble to get a boat as seaman are in great demand. It seems that the loss of my left eye is to be a barrier in the way of getting in the Air Force or Army. I have tried every way I know to overcome the handicap, but so far have not met with success. I know it requires patience but I cannot linger much longer. You must have more support from me than you are getting now. By going to sea you should receive at least $30.00 per month. I certainly don't relish the thought of causing you any worry and would do anything I could to dispel all worry from your mind. But while the war is on, I feel my place is in service of some kind or other. No doubt I shall find a place sooner or later.
It looks as if I shall be at Doug & Olive's for Xmas. As soon as Bill returns from Eastbourne I shall know definitely. We shall be together most likely.
I wish I could be with you Sweetheart. Life seems to be so empty without you. Your letters are most comforting and are the greatest joy to me, the one thing that I value most when away from you.
I am very glad that you were able to be home for a day or so. In all probability you will spend Xmas at home. My thoughts shall be with you all day, Sweetheart. Please give my love to all the family and wish them all a Merry, Merry Xmas.
Heaps of love and be as happy as it is possible to be. Don't let your spirits sink Honey. Remember I love you and only you and someday I shall make you very happy.
"Tues. Dec. 10th/40
Another evening at home. I wanted to get some work done (navigation), so I remained home last night and tonight. I want to go to Richmond tomorrow evening to get any mail that might be there from you. How I look forward to getting your letters. Mrs. Doran and I are seated in the dining room by a small coal stove which is the only heat in the house. When we leave this room it is like stepping out of doors. The night is moonlight and still no sign of Jerry. (We have not heard from Jerry since Sunday night.) He is quite deliberate in his raiding now, taking more time to plan his raids and spacing them less frequently.
The weather today has been very unsettled. Rained and dull with quite a strong wind blowing. Mrs. Doran 0urchased me two sweater coats yesterday (second hand) for 3 shillings, y pence. She has been busy all day I think darning one or two holes under the arms of one of them so I can wear it to work tomorrow.
As far as I can see there will be work for still sometime at the place where I am working. We are about 1/3 through the roofing job. Personally I hope I hear from the Air Force very soon. Not that I don't like roofing or the work we are doing, but I didn't come over here for that at all. It is merely a filling in of my time with something useful. By the way Sweetheart I am almost out of debt now. Since working I have paid back 8 pounds and have only 3 pounds more to pay off. It makes my blood boil when I think of all this expense and waste of time in order to serve in this cause.
Mrs. Doran has just prepared me a cup of cocoa. Please excuse me my Love and keep yourself in good health. Heaps of love and may the New Year bring us something of what we have been dreaming of. A big hug and kiss.