20th May 1945

4.30 Sunday morning

Dear Mum + Dad,

Many thanks for our letter which I received safely on Friday afternoon. Also will you thank Uncle Harry for ten shillings, it will come in very handy.

At the time of writing I am on duty at the main gate, I am on until eight in the morning. I was on from eleven to twelve thirty yesterday dinner, six till eight last night and four until eight this morning. I am on messenger duty and have to take phone messages and deliver them to whoever they are for.

We are going to the Isle of Wight today. I don’t know what the place is like but I have heard it is pretty good.

I will drop Granny K, Edna, Aunty Em a line when I have time but I don’t know when it will be as I don’t get much time to write letters now what with the notes I have to copy up and the homework. We get our first school exam on Wednesday, it is the only thing I am a bit windy about. The practical side is pretty easy, we have had three tests which I passed all three, two of them I was given a star for.

I see Manchester United has gone through to the final then, I still think they will win it. Did you hear the recording of the game, they said that Chesterfield had been attacking three quarters of the game and yet they couldn’t score so I think Manchester’s defence will pull them through.

By the way Lyndhurst is so near Southampton so I shan’t be far away from here then. I shall certainly know how to catch the trains as it is on the same line to Portsmouth.

I had to go to sick bay yesterday morning as I had a terrible headache and felt sick. I felt pretty bad yesterday evening but I don’t feel so bad this morning. I haven’t had anything to eat since Friday night as I haven’t felt like it but I will go to Breakfast this morning.

I have looked up the times of trains to Birmingham and there is one gets to Birmingham at two minutes past five I think. The book I looked it up in is June 1944 however, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they have been altered since then.

Did you get my shirt safely, I will send the rest tomorrow night if I can get to the Post Office in time.

I expect the cricket season has started now, there is a cricket team here but I don’t have enough time to play as I have to go to school at night at same time a practices are on. They say that Lyndhurst is red hot at cricket and there is compulsory cricket I hope so anyway. Remember me to Eddie M. if he comes in the shop.

You should see the ships in the harbour now, there are dozens of them, I expect they have come in for refueling before going out to the Jap. It seems a bit silly but in the harbour it is like a city centre at night with lights on all over the place, while here in camp the Black Out restrictions are still on.

I see in yesterdays paper that the first eleven groups are being demobbed on June 18th. My groups number is 66 so it looks as though it will be a good time before I get out. Still by the time I pass my course (if I do) it will be another twelve months gone so I suppose it will be getting near then.

I had a letter from Wilf A. the shop steward at the “Midland”, he sent me my Trades Union Forces card which will enable me to get a job after the war. I only have to report to my trades union branch and they will get me a job.

3-30 Sunday afternoon

At the moment we are at Cowes sitting on the promenade doing a spot of sunbathing. We came across from Portsmouth on the eleven o’clock ferry to Ryde, then we had dinner at Ryde, walked around a bit and caught a bus to Newport. Not much doing there so we caught another bus to Cowes. It is a very nice place, very quiet, but has a nice sea frontage. The ferry from Portsmouth to Ryde took thirty five minutes so I am getting some practice in for next week.

I am enclosing a photo giving a scale of the country round Portsmouth, the camp, approximately, is marked by a cross so you will have a better idea of where I am stationed. As you can see we have sea on three sides pretty well so you can imagine it is pretty fresh here.

How is the weather in Birmingham I expect you have got a heat wave like we have here, it was terrible trying to sleep last night. I had only got the blanket but I needn’t have had that, it was so hot.

By the way, I think I remember a little pillow that used to be in Jean’s room. I wonder if I could have it as I have nothing to lie my head on at night. If you haven’t got a small one don’t bother as a big one wouldn’t lash up in my hammock.

Well I think that is about all for now as we have to catch the bus so cheerio for now.

Lots of love,

Graham
xxxxxxx


Historical Notes

Manchester United played a football match against Chesterfield on the 12th of May 1945. Manchester eventually lost the Football League War Cup North Final to Bolton Wanderers 3-2 in a game played in two legs.

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