Reminder that all of these pages are copyrighted by Karen Rempel Arthur.
So, that reminder done, let's continue and see if anything is happening with Jones' enlistment.
This next letter is undated, but the envelope is postmarked Nov. 26.40.
9 Bonamy St.
Here am I alone in the living room. I have just read the news and now for a chat with my love.
For a wonder we have had two days without rain. You don't know what this means here at this time of year. All last week we had rain day after day. We would get wet through in the morning and would have to get dried out in the boiler room before we could get on with our work.
I wrote you a brief note while sitting on a park seat at Blackheath yesterday waiting for Olive and Betty to return. I found them in at 3 p.m. or a bit later. We had another guest, a Miss Stokes, an old friend of Olive's in for tea. They, (Olive, Betty and Miss Stokes) carried on conversation about their school days and nursing experiences. I listened with one ear but was thinking how pleasant it would be if you could only sneak in and talk to me. As Betty had to return to Richmond last night, it was necessary for us to leave Blackheath at or near six o'clock. The buses run until 10:30 p.m., but because of the sirens going usually shortly after six, to be certain of getting anywhere, it is advisable to set out before six. Well to start with, we had to wait for thirty-five minutes before a bus came along that had room for us. We went from Blackheath to the Canal bridge on the Old Ken Road, changed to another bus line for Peckham, changed again for Richmond. What normally takes us an hour and ten minutes to travel last night took us over two and a half hours last night. We arrived at Marchmont Road at nine o'clock. Miss Sendamore and Miss Day were in their dugout. The table was set for us and we had a supper of lamb chop and green vegetable salad, followed by junket and plums. Miss Sendamore joined us before we were through and by the time I got away for Bonamy it was just about ten-thirty. As it was so late, I thought it best to try and get a train to Waterloo and walk from there to my 'digs!' (Please refer to map.) The blessed train decided to stop at Earlscourt Station. I had to walk all the rest of the way home. It was most interesting as it was a very black night, but no rain. I set out for the Thames Embankment, walked along until I came to Vauxhall bridge, from there to Elephant and Castle and then along Old Ken Road to home. I finally arrived at two a.m. It was mighty interesting to think of London, completely black, very few people on the streets, in fact in all that journey I only passed seven persons and three or four automobiles, no buses or trains. It is truly hard to believe. 'Jerry' was nowhere to be seen or heard. Betty will scold me for taking her home when she hears about my walk from Earlscourt. I have had to walk from Waterloo Station once or twice but never such a distance as Earlscourt. It reminded me of walking from 45 Lakeshore Dr. to the C.C.F. office.
Here is Mrs. Doran. She has just come in from next door, her sister's home. She is preparing a cup of tea. She was funny today when she remarked that I am a great one to eat bread and margarine. I eat a loaf of bread every other day and two lbs. of margarine per meal.
Heaps of love and kisses Dearie. Sleep tight and happy dreams.
All right then. Here's the next one!
9 Bonamy Street
Here am I again sitting downstairs in the living room. Mrs. Doran and her sister have retired. The night is cool, clear and inviting to the raider. Earlier in the evening guns were active and the drone of planes was clearly heard, but I could not discern any bombs--not being very interested.
We have had a very fine week so far. Rain has held off nicely although it has been somewhat windy and cold. Work has progressed at the plant without interruption and if I get tomorrow in I should have a very good pay Saturday morning (we worked half a day last Sunday for which we get double time). It looks as if there will be work for another few weeks. I hope though I shall be definitely in the Air Force before very long.
So far I have not received word from Critchley--not even an acknowledgement of my last letter. I went over to Richmond last evening but, no letter awaited me. No, not a work from you or anyone else.
How are you tonight Dearie. I hate to think you being so many miles away, all alone and lonesome for me as I am for you. Perhaps it won't be long before things are different. If wishing and longing have any influence on things, surely we should be rewarded soon by being together.
Night after night the somber trek is observed of people carrying bundles of clothing, children, wee tots, pushing a perambulator full of bedding, on their way to public shelters. It is most depressing to see elderly people (women particularly) and wee children, having to endure such exposure to cold, discomfort and unhygienic conditions. As winter approaches many precautions are being taken to cope with possible epidemics, but, no matter what may be done to minimize the hard conditions which people are braving, life this winder in these Islands will be unpleasant but stern and determined as only British folk are capable of feeling when subjected to such severe test.
I shall look Bill Anthony up on Saturday and if he is free we shall spend the weekend together. Olive has asked me over to Blackheath for Sunday in the event I don't find Bill. Betty is going to visit Mrs. Fisher, one of the teachers on the staff of her school, who lives a few miles outside the city.
By the way, it looks as if Betty's school will close at the half term. So many children have gone away to other parts of England, the attendance is too low to permit the school to continue. There is a possibility that Miss Day will carry on alone after Xmas and Betty & Miss Fisher will have to look for another post. Miss Fisher has an opportunity to go to Cape Town, South Africa which she is considering carefully. Betty will apply for any position she hears of available. I imagine she is a very capable teacher and her recommendations should soon obtain a post for her.
I am going to Blackheath tomorrow evening and if any mail is at Richmond for me, Betty is going to telephone Olive. Telephone service like the bus, train or train services, is most uncertain. Sometimes it fails for days on end.
I may have an opportunity to look up Cyril's cousins this weekend. They live not far from Richmond.
Here Xmas is practically upon us and I want so much to be with you. What fun we have had in past years, with our little tree, mail opening, etc. etc. We were happy weren't we Sweetheart even though we had little in the way of wealth. Just two hearts full of love and each eager to make the other happy. I shall be with you in thought all Xmas day as I am each day from day to day. May your Xmas be bright and merry as it can possibly be and don't let worry or gloom overcome you. Only one person shall ever me to 'clean behind my ears' and to 'wear a clean shirt' and that is my one and only Sweetheart.
I haven't made my mind up as yet where I shall spend Xmas Day. In all probability I shall be working Tuesday and Thursday, unless I am in the Air Force, and of course, in that event, I shall be too busy to take ny time off for Xmas.
I hear the guns again and something like bombs dropping in the distance. It is well after 12 p.m. The planes are too far away to around (?) any excitement in this neighborhood.
Well my love, I shall run along to bed with thoughts full of you and may you be kept warm by my longing. How wonderful it would be to tuck you in tonight and keep you warm. All my love and heaps of kisses and hugs.