"222 Northfield Rd.
King's Norton, Birmingham
Just think Sept. 1st so soon, already yes.
I am still aboard ship at Barry and expect to leave here for London tomorrow noon. (Sept. 2nd)
The Captain has been very good indeed. He has consented to release me if the immigration authorities are agreeable. In fact I am very much assisted by him. He is keeping me until Monday which will give me a few more days than I had expected the other day. He told me (and I hesitate to tell you as you will think I'm conceited and I'm not--in fact I was always modest) what do I hear you say--Anyway I shall tell you just what he said: "Jones," said he, "I am d-m sorry to let you go. I wish I had a crew like you. You are the best man aboard. The others are all bluff. But," he continued, "while I have no authority to release you, I shall do everything possible to assist you and if you have influence in London you may go for a weekend and see what you can do, and I shall do all I can at this end to get you off the articles, although I don't want you go to." Mighty good of him, hey what? Well as it turned out I succeeded in getting the shipping master to support me and I think the immigration authorities will cooperate with the recommendation of two. However, I am not worried now about the results, and am quite certain to be on my way to London tomorrow. I am through working, finished yesterday noon but of course my pay goes on until tomorrow.
I have been busy trying to get clean since yesterday noon. You should have seen me. The entire crew were amused at my appearance. I kept one of my shirts for a work shirt and all that is left of it is the collar band and buttons. I had to cut the sleeves off weeks ago and since then rips and tears have had their run (a pun). The pants that I got from Ira are a scream. You know how well I can use the needle, well enough said, there were gatherings here and there until the blessed things became so small and tight they resembled nothing I have seen in style catalogues. My shoes, well, the heels came off some time ago. The holes in the soles became so large that I could just put them on upside down as easily as right side up. However, Sweetheart all has worked out splendidly. I have twenty pounds sterling and can soon equip myself.
Yesterday I purchased a suit of trunks and vest, 2 pair of socks, oh yes you are always interested in prices.
Trunks and vest - 1 s. 6 d. ea
Socks - 2 s. 9 d. ea. pr.
Boots - 27 s. 6 d.
Scissors - 1 s. 6 d.
I find it difficult to get a suit. I haven't time to get a tailor-made suit and the selection of ready made is very limited owing to the war. The shops here are not very well stocked so I shall look around Cardiff tomorrow morning or Bristol on my way to London.
I heard from Miss Slade day before yesterday. I enclose her letter. I shall arrange to stop off at Bristol and take a bus to Chippenham--it will only delay me a few hours.
I don't want to delay in getting to London as I shall have no revenue after tomorrow and I want to send you every cent I can as soon as I can. I am tempted and believe me, I deeply desire from the depths of my heart to send you all I have right now. But I feel it would be the wise thing to hold on to it until I see which way the wind blows when I reach London. I must look the part and it would defeat our end if I happened to be short at the crucial time. I don't see why there should be any delay but one never knows. I worry about you Sweetheart but your letters have so strengthened me. I am taking this course. You are wonderful and no man was ever blessed as I am. I only hope that I shall be able to do what I want to do for you.
The weather here has been continuously fine since we arrived a week ago. I would say it is identical with the weather you are having in Toronto at this time of year. A hot day or a few hours quite warm and then cool evenings and nights.
I wrote to Wilkins and Martin yesterday. I would like to go to Cardiff this afternoon (it costs by bus return 1 s. 3 d.). Cardiff is the largest of the Welsh port cities and it is the objective chiefly, of the enemy raiders that pass overhead nightly. They are generally very high and the search lights and anti aircraft guns play on them but it is chiefly guess work as the sound of their engines is all there is to indicate the raiders' presence. The people take shelter as soon as the sirens sound because of the danger of flying shrapnel from our own shells. Everything is so black it must be very difficult for the raiders to keep their course or to know exactly where they are. Their bombing is purely guesswork and is largely a hit & miss proposition.
The telegram I sent Friday night will likely reach you today or tomorrow. It cost 3 s. I hope you received it. I was surprised that the rate was not higher, but I sent it night rate.
It is possible I shall get my ticket to London half fair. Full fair is 2 pounds, 5 s. As a seaman I am entitled to half fare. If the Captain OK's it I shall have this privilege.
I think you have done wonders Sweetheart. I can see just how everything is looking and I know you are making the best of things. I wish we could make many changes to the house and have things we both want to see about us. We are going to have those things some day soon. Please don't hurt yourself in any way crawling about with paint pots. I would be very sorry and mighty discomforted if anything should happen to you.
I can't advise what to do yet about the furnace but just as soon as I am clear as to my plans I shall tell you what I can do and then you can decide. I know one thing very well and it concerns me deeply, I want you over here if we can possibly manage it so always keep this in mind if you have any desire to come. I shall be on the lookout for an opportunity for you to serve in some capacity if you think you would like it. I tell you frankly there is little danger and as time goes on there will be even less for the inhabitants of these islands.
By another three or four months we shall be well on the road to air supremacy and unless we are silly enough to lose our heads in the meantime, there will be little chance of "Jerry" gaining a foothold here.
I may go to Cardiff this afternoon and attend church this evening.
Heaps of love Sweetheart and the kisses are as sweet as ever. A great big hug. Gee I love you.
Jones left the ship, S.S. Darcoila, on September 1, 1940. Soon after, the ship set sail for Philadelphia as part of Convoy OB-217. On September 26, 1940, early afternoon, mid-Atlantic between Newfoundland and Britain, German submarine U-32 torpedoed the steamer. Captain Anderson plus the crew of 31 were all lost. But for the kindness of Captain William Anderson, the story of William Morris Jones would have ended there.