Wed. Feb. 19th/41
Well how is my girl tonight, very excited I'll bet. I'd give everything to be with you at this moment.
I am seated in a most unpretentious waiting room--two sailors stretched out trying to sleep on a settee and two soldiers in about the same degree of weariness. It is almost midnight. I left Mrs. Bannister, Dulce & Clarice at 9:30. Dulcie & Clarice walked a half mile or so with me to the train and then returned home. It is a good three quarters of an hour train journey from Kings Norton to Navigation Street, the Birmingham terminus. Then about ten minutes walk from the train terminus to the station. My train leaves at 12:24 a.m. for Paddington Sta., London.
I have had a wonderful visit here Sweetheart, all my old friends have been so very kind. To think and to find them al here is a most pleasant experience. It is like coming to a second home. I arrived as usual at 5:30 in the morning (Monday). Monday morning I wrote you and others until lunch time. In the afternoon I tried to contact Betty Dunham. I finally had to telegraph. She replied by telegram the following morning (yesterday) suggesting that we meet at the Midland Educational shop on Corporation Street, at 12 noon today. Monday afternoon quite late Mrs. Lockwood (Mrs. Bannister's sister) and her son, Norman; and daughter Hilda also her married son Harold and his wife Dorothy and a Mr. & Mrs. Brown whom I knew of old, all came over to see me. We chatted all evening.
Tuesday I didn't get up until 9:30 had a good hot bath, breakfast and went down to New Street (the Yonge Street of Birmingham) to do some shopping. All I bought was medal ribbons, rosettes & oak leaves, which I wanted for my tailor at Richmond tomorrow. I took Mrs. Bannister an armful of flowers and a plant and arrived back in time for a reception which she had arranged for me. All the friends who came over to see me the previous night had come again and we had a very nice tea & supper.
This morning I got up about the same time, another hot bath, breakfast and got down town in time to meet Betty (12:15). I was so glad to see her. She look wonderful. Not as fat as she used to be but seasoned and beautiful. We went to the Central Restaurant and talked until 3:30 over a very inferior dinner. However the conversation more than made up for the dinner (and it's wartime anyway, and we're jolly glad to get as good as we got). Betty has developed wonderfully. She remembered all about me and informed me of a hemorrhage which I had during the first night that I came under her care. [She was his nurse after he was injured during WWI] She thought that I was a gonner for sure. Like maybe I seem to have many lives. Gee Honey, it was great to be with Betty again and to find her looking so well. She is very happily married and is most unaffected and ladylike. She is more desirous to see and know you. She has given me the address of her nice who is a B.A. and has a very fine position at the Hellenic Art Library, Bedford Square, London. She wants me to call in and see her. This I shall do tomorrow if time permits. (I got Betty a bunch of flowers too.)
This afternoon after leaving Betty I returned to King's Norton and called on Mrs. Lockwood who had invited us all to tea & supper. We had a jolly reunion. I left there with Mrs. Bannister, Dulcie & Clarice in time to catch the train tonight.
I must drop Betty Gliddon a line now and then it will be train time. Heaps of love & kisses and get ready for that boat trip which I feel is not very far off. Happy dreams and no snoring I promise but oh my!
Is he ever going to get going to Torquay???
76 Marshfield Rd.
Fri. Feb. 21st/41
Here I am on the last leg of my journey to Torquay [Yeah!] where I expect to be for some time to come.
I had a hectic day yesterday. Trying on clothes, getting this and that and chasing about seeing friends etc. I arrived from B'ham at 6 a.m. Paddington. Took a train for Richmond, arrived just in time for breakfast with Miss Sendamore and Miss Day. Then went to the tailor, Harper Bros. Ltd. where I got most of my immediate kit. 35 pounds - 13 1- worth. It almost broke my heart. Then I had to rush to London, saw my bankers Lloyds on Pall Mall and the Royal Bank of Canada on the same street, where I made myself known and opened my account. I shall keep my major account at Lloyds' and a transfer account at the Royal of Canada. More about these later. Then I looked up Betty Dunham's niece, who is a B.A. in Greek, Latin and ancient history and who is holding a very good position on the staff of the Hellenic Art Library, Bedford Square. From there I went out the Old Kent Road to Cooper, Dennison & Walkden, where I had been working, drew my insurance cards, time sheet and the last money coming to me, and then made haste back to Richmond to get my clothes which had to be adjusted a bit. I then rushed up to Marchmont Rd. bade Miss Sendamore & Miss Day farewell, thence to the depot kit, baggage et al and arrived at Paddington Stn. where I checked my things in the parcel office pending departure for Chippenham 12 midnight--I had promised Olive Davis to run out to Blackheath and see her when I was in uniform. This I did, arriving there at 8:15 p.m. We had crumpets, which I toasted over the open fire and Olive made coffee. I made Olive promise that she would write to you at once. She is a jolly fine girl, Dearie, abut your own age. I think I told you that she is a stenographer at the office of some barge company. Her father is a retired sea captain and is now a pilot on the Thames. Please write Olive as she will be mighty glad to hear from you. She was a bit shy to write first but I made her promise to do so. Her address is Miss Olive Davis, 142 Blackheath Hill, Greenwich, S.E. You will like Olive when you meet her. She is anxious that you come soon. Well after saying goodbye to her I made my way back to Paddington. Just think, I left Olive at 9:30 sharp and didn't reach Paddington until 11:45 not long before train time. Transportation was very bad. I had to walk for long stretches and finally chanced to see a taxi in the dark and begat me there on time. I was soon aboard my train, bag and baggage for Torquay, planning to step of at Chippenham on my way. I reached here at 3:15 a.m. Arnold heard the door bell, got up and let me in.
Olive (Mrs. Garvin) is home and Mim is away for the weekend.
Must go to town now.
Heaps of love and don't get too excited. Sleep tight and hurry up and come over. Big hug & kiss.
P.S. Olive Gavin says I look very nice [in his uniform] and to give you her love."
All right. He's getting closer to his RAF destination. Many of these people he was visiting were from his time in England during World War I--and you know he was a war hero during that time. Jones was one of only a few who won the Distinguished Conduct Medal, not once, but twice. This medal is one step below the Victoria Cross, and he well deserved it. If you want to read more about those events, find The Tenacious Spy: The Story of William Morris Jones on Amazon or contact me through this website. Many of the friendships made during those perilous times would last a life time and were very important to him.