These letters belong to my aunt Joan Punter ( nee Toller ). These contain interesting home front information and political views of the war. They were written by my Great Aunt Marie to her husband George Cruden. ( both now deceased. )
In several of these letter Marie refers to George as Peter Precious- as she was a Catholic from Ireland and didn't want to introduce him to her family as George ( the English kings name) she called him Peter.
Saturday the 25th April. [c. 1941]
138. Harrow Road.
My Dearest and Best
was pleased to get your letter this morning, of course, and was unhappy at the thought of London being in such a terrible state. Fancy the Shell Mex House being down- heavens what a crash that must have been, and they had super-shelters under there to. Whenever is all this awful destruction going to stop. Jerry seems to get every damn thing his way, and the powers that be do not seem at all capable of being able to relise what to do about it. Its to be hoped there are no Quislings in the government or in Offices. The falling back from North Africa, and gradually being chucked out again from Greece is worrying me very much.
More so, when ther seems to be no effort on the part of the Government to explain it - and poor old General Wavel is thrown aside now for someone else. It seem preposterous that such a thing could be done after the galant and brilliant achievement in getting his troops to the north in that record time. I have said, and I still maintain, that he was not backed up with either munitions or men to hold those places and to have allowed Jerry to have landed in such hugh numbers and at such speed, is surely where someone is grossly at fault. The watch was not strict enough obviously, and even though troopcarriers were used to a great extent, ther was surely some means either from the Navy or the airforce there to have prevented to a very great degree. It worries me terribly. They are nearer now and look very much to me as though we shall be bottled up between the Meditteranean and the Suez. The Conservative Government have been traitorous without a doubt. Either their ambassadors or Agents have not been doing their job properly, but letting the Germans filter through all our possessions in a disgraceful manner, or on the other hand the government have been warned by their representations in other countries, but they have not chosen to take any notice of them but adopted the attitude that our financial resources could achive anything which they ( the government ) chose to bribe or act on. The most recent glaring instance of this, is the trouble in the Iraqi district. How come they to allow a coup d'etat to come off if they were so anxious to watch the Oil pipe line. And a rebel to be in charge there? Can you answer me that?
My word, you boy, if you were anywhere about, I reckon you'd say "hold your nagging row for goodness sake, girl I Don't know write Winston Churchill" Well, and belive me I'm so utterly fed up with the mismanagement of affairs that I feel I'd do that too!!!!!
Ha.... Well, that's off me chest, so now I'll proceed with the business of this letter. ahem!!!!
Oh, grateful thanks for the parcel!!!! Everything is just exactly what the doctor ordered. Hope you got my letter of yesterday with the P.O. in. Do hope you have not quite spun out, love, did you get paid yesterday? Could you do with a little more dough? Don't empty the post office treasury.
I was extreamly interested to read how you spent your day's work. You do not seem to have such a harassing time as at Hatfield. Nice to know you have the same officers, and not such a long day in working for them. However, do please take care of yourself, and for goodness sake R E S T - got that?, rest a bit, and dont go careering round sight seeing. Fancy Waller Road looking so forlorn and damaged like that. Its awful to think about.
Now look, here young man, what on earth am I to do with the following returns:-
1/12 scarves?????????????? which I didnt knit anyhow??????
Sorry but our credit department is now closed, but if you wish us to return in your next parcel, we will give same our very best and undivided attention, thanking you for past favors, trusting you are, as we are at present, we remain.... Oh dear I have just been doing some letters for Smithy, and quite forgot. By the way, he's got the job he applied for at the Midland Bank here, so now we are waiting to see the sparks fly,
Well please dont faint, but we're going to the pictures this afternoon. I asked Mrs W if she would like to come, and then Guy said she would also, so we are going to see "All this and Heaven too" sounds quite etheral, but have heard it is good. Hope I don't have a good cry and come out with a fat head - you remember how I used to, when we had been to see "a good picture"
Well, love, its just noon, so I want to get this off to you to-day.
Well, cheerio, darling, all my love, kisses and everything else, and keep to the country side. Darling.
ever your own little wiff.
These letters belong to my aunt Joan Punter ( nee Toller ). They contain interesting home front information and political views of the war. They were written by my Great Aunt Marie Cruden( deceased ) to her husband George Cruden( also deceased ).
Marie refers to George as Peter Precious in many of these letters, this was because she was a Catholic ( originally from Ireland ) and when they first got together she didn't want to introduce him to her family as George because that was the Kings name! Some of these letters are written from London and from Nottingham where she lived at one point and also from Cambridge where they finally settled.
Friday. the. 16th May
138 Harrow Road.
Nottingham. ( plus Park of course )
My Own Dearest Peter Precious,x.x.x.
Anyway, the first thing to do is to apologise to you Mr Cruden, Dear Sir, for the omission to call you something, however, meagre, when sending an epistle. Its the old story, many around, and I leave the address until the last thing before closing the letter, and then forgot all about it while postbag is being closed up. As regards the X.X.X.X.X.well....... there's not the slightest excuse as you will notice.
Thanks for your long newsy letter, and ere this I hope you will have got the one sent you with the little photos in it. If you want the one with the hat on- keep it, but there's not a bit of stipulation about this. Well, I'm sorry that you had all that trapse around to get to G's. Anyway, it was nice to know that they made you so wecome. I say, I really was suprised to know that it had come to Smith going to 134. Old Margy has things all her way nad no doubt- even to mucking things up in her married life. Well, that's that, they cant marry, but have got to go on being pals. I'm sorry really, for the old people's sake, as they are such a dear old pair, that it must worry them actually, when they have such high moral principles. Now dear, as regards the weekend which you say you might possibly be able to get during my holiday. If it would be on the 6th, love, I really don't think it would be worth the rush and expense, because I should have to come back on the Saturday the 7th, in case there are no buses back on the Sunday, but still, if you could get leave so that YOU need not report back untill the Monday midnight, it would be worth it from your point if view. However, dear, I know you will do what you think is worth it. I could help with your fare if necessary, but my point is that unless you can have the benefit of a good few hours stay, it would not be worth risking a longer time of later on. What do you think?
It makes very sad reading indeed to hear of how London is gradually disappearing, and more especially the City as we know it. I take it Gamages are still going strong, in spite of Holborn being a bit knocked about. I somehow felt that the Houses of Parliament would be unlucky. Of course it was a nice building architecturally, but it was under 100 years old, as I see by the encyclopedia, that it was built in 1858.
This Hess business is certainly as bewildering as the events in the war in different parts of its theatre. Anyway, Bevin spoke his mind in no uncertain terms, and also the papers tone generally seems to be for more stronger measures to be taken as regards his person. It is ironic to read of his getting eggs, chicken, and everything else that is good, when the poor people of Plymouth and Liverpool, are probably looking for somewhere to house themselves, never mind, feed. I want to know why he should have wanted the Duke of Hamilton above all other personages, and WHY????? even when Hess was on the way to hospital was the Duke of Hamilton sent for to interview Hess as he had requested?????
Have we some fifth columnists amoung our- or rather the Scottish nobility? It rather looks as though they are after getting seperate Government, if they are adopting these king of tactics. Perhaps there was some arrangement for troops to be landed in Scotland- its a wild and rugged country in many parts, but the fact that Hess machine caught fire, and he himself was injured, rather than mucked the whole thing up. Personally I feel it wants a lot of explaining. Do away with the soppy senimentality which some of the press articles seem to try to indulge in, and use the third degree to the fullest on Hess, and then stick him up against a wall, and put all the bullets that his body will take into him. That would br the fate of any of our blokes who tried the traitors stunt, anyway. And what about the rotten French too. Fuelling the Jerry planes from Syria. Well let 'em, and may the R A F bomb and bomb em to blazes, for their treachery.
Well, darn the war talk.
Had another warning last night, or rather this moring 2 to 5. Jerry passed over, not much noise from him, and we did not have any guns. Our windows in the premises are now in, so thank goodness we are out of the dungeon like place, which until to-day has had thick wooden shutters up. Well, its wind up official in our house now. Mrs Wilde had all her case packed with clothes and valuables. deeds of the house, probate, etc. etc. which action has been caused through the evacuation which has gone on during the past few days of people from their homes on account of D. A's. Anyway, the whole idea is not a bad one ( I mean as regards getting some things packed up ) they might drop a few in Wollaton Park sometime.
I hope by now you have got the little photo back. Yes, I thought Boots were taking a long time over them- but I didn't ask why, because photographers who do the printing and developing seem to be few and far between here. The one nice place where I got the others done is no more, so that is why I took them to Boots.
Well, now, love I must ring off there are three or four certain persons, who suddenly find there are many things which must be answered tonight, and that is why I feel it in my bones that if I dont finish this now, you wont get it.
Cheerio, darling, all my love, and thoughts, and I hope you have a nice weekend. They have got the "son of Monte Cristo" running here and at the moment I am not sure whether to go, or wait a bit and get over my last weekend expenses. Do you want any cash by the way?
All the very best of love, thought hugs kisses, and I am so very sorry that you have such a bad cold. I somehow felt that it was unwise even in the heat of the last weekend, to leave off that pullover, and on one occasion you went without it altogether didn't you?????? I should have hagged if I had started on you, I know, but you will do what you think sometimes, and take a chance. Anyway, love I do hope you are feeling better. Mine is still hanging around, and my poor old lips couldn't be kissed even gently by you now.
Ever and always
About Michelle's Archives
This is a blog page for the archives in Michelle's own collection. It includes many of Michelle's personal family archives, tales and scrapbook items to all kinds of general archive items mainly from around Cambridge and East Anglia but some even more further afield. Search for items or subjects of interest under the categories below, by date or keyword, name or place etc. Any problems finding something or if you've any questions or comments please do get in touch by using the 'Contact' page on this website.
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