4th June 1945

Dear Mom & Dad,

Just a few lines to let you know that I think I can say I shall definitely be home next weekend on five days leave. I am entitled to Interim leave which is three days plus two days Ve leave which makes five. I shall leave here on Friday dinner time so I should get home on Friday night but what time I don’t know as I don’t know what times the trains are. Coming back I have to get the first train from Birmingham to Skegness which is the 10.23 which gets me here about ten past five on Wednesday. It’s not a bad leave is it and in any case in five weeks time I get my periodical leave which is nine days I believe. Still I shall find out about that later, in any case I don’t expect I shall be here then.

I tried to give you a ring last Thursday but I couldn’t get a reply so the phone must have been switched off. So don’t forget to switch it on this Thursday as I am almost sure to give you a ring to let you know definitely the time of my train.

I have managed to get in the same chalet as Norman again, they did split us up at first. We got in the front of the class expecting to be put in the first chalet but we were unlucky as there was one chalet with only two in and he up me in there. Norman was then put in the second chalet with two other chaps, so we both moved out and joined on the back of the class again. Eventually we ended up in a chalet to ourselves but since then we have had another chap put in with us.

By the way that boy I told you about, the one I used to be at night school with, who had yellow jaundice, is still here. I met him in Skegness Saturday afternoon, it was a surprise seeing him as it was a fortnight since I had a letter from him so I thought he had gone on draft.

On Saturday we watched the Skegness Cricket Club play Boston Cricket Club, Skegness won by eight wickets. Boston went in first and got 126 for 9 wickets declared. I thought it was a pretty good score but when we had come back from having tea, Skegness had got 43 for 1 wicket. They finished up with 130 for 2 wickets which certainly gave Boston a thrashing. They have got a cricket team here but I don’t think it is worth putting my name down as by the time I have finished my leave it will be a fortnight gone and we are only expecting to be here three weeks or so. By the way don’t forget to tell Eddie M. about next Sunday if it can be arranged.

Yesterday we didn’t have to fall in until nine so we went without our breakfast and stayed in bed until half past eight. Quite like civvy street isn’t it?

The food here is so much better than when we were here before, well at any rate better cooked although we still feel hungry. By the way, what has happened to my washing? If yo haven’t sent it yet could you pop two or three jars of fish paste in, we find that it is the best thing to carry around with us, as a jar of jam is likely to arouse suspicion.

Well I think that is all for now so I will say cheerio until Friday.
All my love,
Graham
x x x x x

P.S. How is the ‘fag’ rolling going on?

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1st June 1945

Dear Mom & Dad,

Just a line to let you know that I came unstuck on my course. I didn’t pass on the final theoretical paper, so I go back to Skegness tomorrow. I have a good mind to try for Royal Marine Driver as it is about the only mechanical job left open at the moment. There is no fear of going in the army as all transfers have been stopped. I don’t know exactly how I go on for leave now but I will let you know more tomorrow night if I can manage to ring up. Well I must close now as Jeff is going to post this in Birmingham for me and he is waiting to go.
Bye bye for now
Lots of love
Graham
P.S. I am still with Norman as he also failed.

26th May 1945

Dear Mom & Dad,

Just a line or two to let you know that I received the washing safely. Sorry I didn’t reply before but I thought I might as well hang on till today so that I could get my new address. I had a bit of an accident with the clean collars, I put them in my case and my bottle of ink leaked and pretty well smothered them. I have tried to wash them but have not made much of a job of it.

I have tried to ring you up the last three nights but couldn’t get an answer, I could hear the phone ringing but I suppose it must have been switched off or something.

We had our first exam last Wednesday and there were fifteen out of fifty nine who didn’t pass, including Norman. Still as we have lost such a lot of time on the course and owing to the fact that he was only just under the pass mark they allowed him to continue with the course. I don’t think he will pass next time however as he has to get 70% instead of the usual 60% pass mark. I don’t know what %age I got as they don’t tell unless you fail.

We moved on to the battleship on Friday afternoon and after what I have seen of it so far I am not particularly enthralled with it. It is just like living on a floating greenhouse what with the heat. The sanitary conditions are also pretty foul, there is no chance of a bath. We have to live eat and sleep in the same space, there is about thirty of us in a space of about the size of the recreation ground hut. (By the way I am writing this in Portsmouth as all letters posted on board have to be censored) (sshh)

However, the food is pretty good, and the canteen is excellent, we can get duty free cigarettes, Players – Craven A at 20 for 6d. We are allowed twenty a day so I will see what I can do. Still we should be home in a fortnight I hope, providing we pass the exam of course, so it won’t ┬ábe so bad.

I haven’t sent any photos off yet as I haven’t had much time with first swotting for the last exam and now changing over to the ship. Still I’ll see what I can do in the next week. In any case I shall be home next weekend so I can give them to Aunty Em, Aunty Edna etc.

Well I will sign off now as Norman an dGeoff are getting a little impatient so bye bye for now
Lots of love
Graham
x x x x x x

P.S. Could you let me have some money for train fare next week as I don’t want to use a travel warrant just for a weekend?
Did you find where Lyndhurst?