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 ) and were given to me to copy onto this site. 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 letters 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.
On this occasion Marie is writing from where she is living in Nottingham. George is away at war and his home address is Oxford Road, Cambridge.
Thursday, the 24th. 1941.
My Own Dearest Peter Precious.x.x.x.
Was most pleased to get your letter this morning, and to know that you arrived at the old spot safely, and carrying on with the mess work. Was the M.O trying to be funny, regarding your promotion, and also if you want to carry on with the mess job to have a medical? Darned funny they were glad to let you go to Hatfield without a medical, wasn't it. I do hope your promotion gets through, it seems to silly to advise you that you've got it and then take it away. Cant your officer help you? Perhaps you might all get drafted away en bloc ( The Hatfield crowd I mean ) to another little place on the pioneer stunt. It would be nice now the better weather is coming wouldn't it. I have sent some socks on to you to-day and also a letter but I think I have forgotten "officers mess" on it, so if there is a delay you will know the reason. I also enclosed in the socks the bottle of Lavander oil. Be on the lookout for some more of it - In London according to rumour, there seem to be most things about to be had. Nottingham is without cigarettes again - although I personally have plenty just now, but one of the girls here, whose husband is on war work, says they cant gat one anywhere. Of course they are rationed just now, and if you're not there just when they're about, you're unlucky for the rest of the time.
I got your parcel which you sent from 95 alright, and I take it that you are sending another. Thanks awfully boy, and I'm risking a five bob postal order in the hope that it reaches you so as not to spin you out with the different postages., plus the cost of the parcel.
We are having a "gas attack" tonight, so hope we'll get through it alright. It's been a lovely day, although this morning, it was a real north-east wind. I'm sorry that you still have the long days work to do, but still if you like it, and find things not so much of a rush, no doubt it helps the day through.
I did some digging for Mrs. Wilde the other evening. A nice square bit at the end of the garden where for the whole of the winter there have been the remains of some tall popular trees, which Mrs.W thought she would have cut down a bit. Everybody wanted them for beansticks, and they were ideal for that purpose, but no one wanted to take them until they wanted to put the beans in. Therefore she decided that she would get rid of the whole lot, and not put up with the untidiness. So she told her son-in-law, and the girls next door, and they soon put a move on and got their share. John burnt the rest on Sunday afternoon, when he called, and then on the Monday I had a 'go' at digging. Moved four hugh paving stones which were part of a 'crazy gang' business, and made some steeping stones with them to the air-raid shelter. We may be glad to get in there soon, if things go on as they are. However, it has been too cold to continue, and we have found ourselves during the past three nights hugging the fire again.
The holiday list is now out and this weekend commences the first week. April 28th to May 12th. I was wondering if I should go on May 12th- just to make sure of getting a holiday, but really I am undecided as to wether to go to Devon. I'd love too, of course, but things are so very very indefinate, and I wouldn't like to be caught out down there if ther was an invasion. What do you think, dear. Guy is going the first two weeks in July. Her people have been very nearly bombed again, so they are leaving the house on the 30th of this month, and moving lock stock and barrel to Little- hampton.
There is no alternative to my going to Devon but Cambridge of course, as I couldn't bear to see London so badly knocked about, and I'm really scared stiff of being killed up there with the perpetual raids going on.
Anyway love, perhaps you could offer some suggestion of what you think I ought to do. Thought perhaps ( if it wouldn't cost too much of hopping up to see Marie Wilson in Blackpool. It would be some seaside air, anyway.
Well, now darling, there is some more work, to get on with, so to make sure of this going off, I'm closing now, but hope you will keep well, and don't go westwards or Citywards, in case there is a raid. Cheerio darling, write whenever you can, all my love kisses, hugs, and everything else,
Always your own
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