2nd April 1945

Dear Mom + Dad,

Many thanks for letter which I received today. The photograph which I sent you, the one without my cap. I was not allowed to smile so that probably accounts for my sad expression. I have a small reproduction which is stuck in my naval pay and identity book. On the big photograph Norman is fourth from the left in the back but one row. My other pal Alan W. is third from the left on the back row. The three birmingham boys are Osmond D., second from the right back row, Len T., the fat chap on the end of the second row from the back, John P., third from the right third row from the back and Denis N. end of the same row on the right. Denis is the best of the four he comes from Wolverhampton. He is also a good footballer and played for Coventry City Colts. Our Instructor is Chief Petty Officer Turner and our two class leaders Peter N. on his left with glasses, and “Taffy” J. on his right.

I had my first wages on last Thursday and got two pounds. I don’t think they have stopped any money yet so I don’t expect much next week.

I think our draft to Malvern is pretty much certain now as our Instructor has mentioned it, but I am waiting until we are on the move this time before I get too optimistic.

Remember me to Harry G. next time you see and tell him I will call on the Midland works when I come home on leave.

Could you let me have my pipe I can get tobacco at 2s/8d a pound, pretty good eh? Also if you can spare one could you let me have one of the shoe polishers? Could you also send me a jar of jam to help the meals down a bit. I will send the tin back next time I send my washing if you can send me some brown paper as I cannot get any here. I expect you noticed my washing was wrapped up in someone elses paper.

I don’t know if I mentioned it last time but I have had a parcel from Barmouth with a chocolate covered cake and about a pound of sweets. I thought the war was over when I saw the cake.

The weather here at the moment is lovely but last week it has been terribly windy. I can just about imagine the posters in peace time describing Skegness “Come to Skegness – Skegness is so Bracing” Bracing, blimey its like being in a hurricane all day.

I cannot ring up that late as they clear everybody out at nine so it will be a bit earlier. I think it will be Thursday this week as I am on shore leave then, and Friday I am on firewatch and I may not be able to get to the phone as there is always a queue.

Alan W. has been lucky this weekend as Sunday he managed to get home and today he got special permission to go on shore leave to Skegness as his parents were in Skegness for the day, although it wasn’t our turn for shore leave.

Yesterday Norman and I went down to Skegness expecting to have a dull afternoon as we thought all the shops would be shut as it was Easter. Luckily for us Butlins fair had opened up for the summer season and of course they passed away an afternoon for us. It is definitely the best fair I have been to since the war started. Boating pools, mirror mazes, like they used to have at Rhyl, ghost trains, big dippers and plenty more things. We went into the Toc H club about half past five and stayed until eight writing letters. I wrote to Edna, Barmouth, Radford, Jess O. and Uncle Fred. I got his address from Edna when she wrote the other day. By the way talking of letters, there is an address of a boy called K.G.M, one of my mates from school, in one of my drawers. I think it is in the small left hand drawer on my dressing table. If you find it could you send it on to me as I want to write to him. My other mate from Skegness is going on draft to Warrington, H.M.S. “Gosling” next Tuesday. Cliff A. is going there tomorrow I think, he mentioned it the other day but I have not seen him lately. James from the Met is also going next week, I think he is also going to Warrington, he could not get in the electrical trade and is down as a stoker.

We led a ten mile route march on Saturday, did we feel tired when we got back.

Our class was praised up by our divisional officer this morning for our marching. I was in the third row from the front right up by the band. The parade was five hundred yards long and there were about two thousand men in the parade.

We had a surprise this morning when we were told that that as it was Easter Monday we could have the afternoon off from work. We have had two games of snooker and six or seven games of darts in our mess and then we went up to a football match on the Stadium.

Focastle Division beat the Ships Coy by one goal to nil. We ar going to the camp picture tonight, Betty Grable in “Pin Up Girl”.

There is a boxing contest here on Wednesday, H.M.S. “Royal Arthur” versus an Army team. From what I hear of previous fights here it will be worth seeing. At the end of the week at the pictures is “Appointment in Berlin”, I think you’ve got the book at home haven’t you? On Sunday we have got “Is Everybody Happy” so we have got plenty of attractions this week.

Could you let me have Teresa’s address so I could drop her a line. You’d be surprised how everybody rushes to the class leaders in the morning when they come in with the letters, so the more people I write to the more letters I get back. You feel so lonely when you don’t get a letter for two or three days. So if anyone wants my address can you let them have it especially some of my old mates.

Well I don’t think there is any more I can say at the moment so I will sign off for the moment. Ask Mrs S. to remember me to Denis and don’t forget Harry G.

Bye bye for now
Lots of love
Graham

x   x   x   x   x
x   x   x   x

P.S. Remember me to the gang and all the girls in the shop.

 

 

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