12th April 1945

Dear Mom & Dad,

Just a few lines to let you know that I received the parcel safely Monday afternoon. I kept the cakes and biscuits for the train journey and sent the remainder on with my kit which went yesterday. As you can see I have had my address changed, I am in BLAKE division instead of Berlow. This is a nuisance as it means I am parted from all my mates, Alan, Norman, Denis. Still I shall probably meet up with them again when we leave Malvern.

Tell Jean I gave her message to Alan and he says that he will come home on leave with me.

By the way I forgot to mention that I received your letter as well last night.

I don’t know whether I shall be on ‘shore leave’ on Sunday but I will probably ring up before then. In any case I will let you know.

We left Skegness at about seven thirty this morning. We had to get up at four this morning and had breakfast at five.

One o-clock

Have just come through New Street, we came via {a number of stations}. I never thought I’d get that near to home. Then we passed through W.H. right past the Met. I saw the hut where I used to work.

We have just drawn up at B., I expect I shall call on the farm while I am here.

We stopped at Leicester for a mug of tea which was supplied by the N.A.A.F.I. and was dished up by A.T.S. girls. We had a twenty minute delay then we arrived at Nuneaton and from then on I was a guide for the men in our carriage.

I have just took  walk down the train and have seen Alan and Norman and Denis. Norman is fast asleep with his head in Denis’s shoulder while Alan is very nearly gone.

I will sign off for now as Malvern is next station.

Nine o-clock

Have settled down now, the camp is tons better than Royal Arthur. By the way did you receive my book from there. Don’t judge the camp by what you see in it. It certainly is different to that now.

Have seen Norman and the rest of the ‘gang’. They are in the next house to me. Each house is completely covered in and are on each side of the parade ground.

IMG_20160412_204041938

They are all in Frobisher and I am in Blake so we are not far away. Norman is on the same watch as me so he will be on leave with me. By the way he has been granted his marriage leave for Saturday. He gets from Friday morning until Monday morning.

I have made enquiries about getting home and I can get home each weekend but only the day I am on ‘shore leave’ but I will see about that later.

Well I will sign off now
Lots of love
Graham
x   x   x   x   x


Historical Note

Like the HMS Royal Arthur, the HMS Duke was a shore establishment, commissioned in 1941 and based at Great Malvern, Worcestershire.

Place names in the above letter have been removed or abbreviated for the sake of anonymity.

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