8th April 1945

Dear Mom & Dad,

I hope by this time that you have received my washing safely. I am enclosing one of my latest photographs, I think this is a good one. I hope you like it.

I have bought a hair comb here in camp, it is a good one, you know the big type. I will forward it on when I send my pants home. I nearly dropped when they told me the price.

I had my first naval haircut yesterday, I felt as though I had been scalped, I used to think Dick I. was bad enough.

We had our first vaccination reading yesterday, there were only twelve out of forty of us who had taken. I am one of the lucky ones, because all those that had not taken have got to have another one.

Norman has not taken so far but he says he does not mind as he is getting married next week, the vaccination does not hurt until ten days which is his wedding day. We have got well into our course now last Wednesday we started on rifle drill. I thought squad drill was bad enough, but this certainly has it beat for making you ache.

Did you listen to “Music of the Footlights” on the wireless last night from nine fifteen until ten. It was played by the B.B.C. Theatre Orchestra and sung by the B.B.C. Theatre Chorus with Irene Eisinger and Roderick Jones as soloists. Stanford Robinson was the producer of the show and also conducted the Orchestra.

He gave a concert from eight fifteen until ten here last night and the programme I have mentioned was broadcast from here. He played the Overture “The Bartered Bride” – the Intermezzo “Cavalleria Rusticana” – the Aria “Voi de sapete” and “In uomini in Soldati” then the suite from the Opera “Carmen”. The rest of the programme was the B.B.C. feature “Music of the Footlights”.

The orchestra has sixty players in it and the chorus has five men and five women as well as the two soloists. All this lot was on the stage in the cinema so you can guess the size of the cinema. We got in for the usual price, threepence, we were lucky (Norman & I) as we had just come back on shore leave from Skegness and as the ratings seats were all occupied we were allowed to sit in the officers seats. Did we feel good, best seats in the house for threepence.

We have got to get up at four on Wednesday and catch the six thirty train from Skegness. The route we are taking is Lincoln, Doncaster, Leeds, Manchester, Burton, Worcester, Malvern, quite a nice little journey. All the men on draft on Wednesday go on this train and leave the train at the various stations mentioned from where they catch their connections for their campus. We arrive at Malvern at four so we shall be a bit browned off by the time we get there.

There are some chaps in the next dormitory who have come from Malvern and they say that from Malvern it is possible to get a sleeping out pass if you live in Birmingham so I may be able to get home.

I had a letter from Harold W. last Wednesday telling me about the football team. They certainly have started back to their old form lately. Talking of football I heard the Cup Final on Saturday in a cafe in Skegness. I got there about ten minutes before Chelsea’s first goal just before half time and heard all the rest of it. It is about the first time I have heard the wireless since I have been here. Well I will sign off for now as it is nearly teatime so I will say
Bye bye for now
Lots of love

P.S. Remember me to the gang and tell them I hope to see them soon.

P.P.S. Have you any envelopes that will take post cards?

Historical Notes

Music of the Footlights was broadcast on General Forces Programme on Saturday nights (and, later, Wednesday afternoons) from November 1944 to April 1945. It was produced by ENSA (the Entertainments National Service Association, set up to provide entertainment for the Armed Forces during the Second World War).

The Football League War Cup replaced the FA Cup during the Second World War. The match to which Graham listened was the South Final, in which Chelsea beat Millwall 2-0. The Cup Final (Chelsea 1-2 Bolton Wanderers) took place on the 2nd of June 1945.



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