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.
April 26th 1945 138 Harrow Road Wollaton Park Nottingham
My dearest Precious, x,
I’m typing these few lines. I can’t seem to sandwich time in during the day to write to you, and I find this is quicker. I’m answering two letters in this one, one of them from you in the “blue envelope” and the other written on Salvation Army paper. It is only natural you’d lose track of what letters are about because of the long transit, yours taking four days to reach me, and I expect mine to you take about a couple of days- but getting my replies in their sequence, I think you’ll find I comment on most things you write about. Anyway, I’m answering the blue envelope one now first. I only get the chocolate once a month, so I can’t send you much in any case, and I send it in case you don’t get a change of diet much, or feel like a nibble when you are out for a stroll. I only like milk chocolate really like those Cadbury’s you used to give me, so my sending the plain chocolate is not really generosity is it? You would have liked the shawl I sent Con [Connie Toller] it was a nice one only a few pence short of 9/- - and she certainly seemed pleased with it. No I don’t think I’m paying a good bit of I.T, on the 212 pound a year, as it works out at about 6 pound on the year- but that is actually up to date, although I suppose I shall shortly be receiving a new Code Form, and hope the number wont be changed. Well. I put 10 pound in the P.O. just before Easter, and now saving for my holidays, which I shall make the last big splash for the year. Anyway, going down to Gidd will not involve a lot of extra spending, not in the drink line anyway, because they only indulge in one, and then only shandy or cyder- but of course with Ann being there now, it may have even altered that habit. D.V. I’ll try and get to Buckfast again, if the buses run there- the last time I was in Paignton, there were no long distant buses, but rumour has it there are many more cars to be put on the road- by more petrol becoming available.. Then I can keep a little spare cash handy for inclusion in the old tin box. By the way dear, while I guessed perfume would be expensive, I had no idea when I asked you to get some that it was so dear as it is- better cut that lark out anyway, as I reckon it left you pretty broke after that purchase. If you’ve got to pay tax, well, I guess it’s better to wait until you get home again, because after all they will surely allow you to come home with as much stuff as “ presents” I see that you are due for your 48hours in Paris from to-day, so hope you will have a nice trip, but don’t run into any more trouble with yanks and revolters and things, will you? No, in your reply to your letter of the 19th written in the S.Army- I’m glad you got the other cigarettes. I intend to send them all service rates duty free, but what with the Cooks lot not arriving, and possibly being stolen ( which they nearly were ) I sent you a big batch to start you off. Then mother got worried too in case you hadn’t any fags, so that was her contribution- sent you in the towel. You should be getting another 200 Churchmans in the course of the next week, and that will be the last lot I have ordered for you, so when you get them everything will be in order, and you will be set up for a little while in smokes. Don’t worry about soap- if you want some, tell me, and I’ll send you a tablet. The position as regards soap is this. There are four points allowed on the ration book for soap washing powders, etc. Mrs Wilde takes two for doing my washing, and I take the other two for soap, which is two for a big bar and/or 1 each for two smaller ones. With the soap you kindly collected for me when at Kettering, it put me “into fund” therefore I can easily spare you a bar each month from my current allowance. See?? So don’t forget to ask for it, love. By the way have you any use for soap flakes IF I can get hold of any for my ration? Will it help any, because I can soon find a tin to pack some into! I’m going to crochet myself some gloves in fine white string- I have seen some, and examined them, and am sure I could make a pair if I tried Don’t write to Rotherhams- love. Yes, it’s a fact that the German prisoners are getting the same food ration as our fighting men- I can’t think what the heck our authorities are about what with trying to feed Europe, our armies and navies, etc, this lot of islands seems to be a well of everything but there’s such an outcry about it that I think that are “thinking” about lowering it. Well for my part I’d swop my job any day at the present time for the lot of the prisoners in Wollaton Park- this lovely sunny weather, in beautiful surroundings, and no work to do but just laze around- its scandalous. We will be sending back to Germany a few thousands of full healthy men, while our own boys coming back are diseased and half starved- we’ve had the gloves on too long, and the terrible things which are coming to light in these Concentration camps beats even the wildest imagination- talk about Jules Verne in the 20th century it’s fantastic- the swine they are- they should have the life as a nation crushed out of them for centuries, and never be allowed to rise again after such fiendish treatment of those under them. I only hope they’ll get the gang of them, and shoot them without mercy- they should not be allowed a fair trial, but just a drumhead trail, and shoot summarily, I had a letter from mother yesterday. She says they all enjoyed themselves at Joan’s [Toller] party, and also mentioned that Arthur [Cruden] was going home this weekend, and having another birthday party; I somehow thought that he wouldn't let that occasion pass without having another “do”, in spite of the fact that Vi’s [Violet Cruden] birthday and his were to be celebrated jointly. Mother also mentioned that Mrs Bavister died a week aho to-day and was cremated at Huntingdon on Saturday. I expect she will be telling you in her letter. I’m sorry I didn’t go across to see the poor thing at Easter- although Mother mentioned that she didn’t think then she was long for this world. Well springcleaning is now finished, and of course everywhere looks spick and span- but Mrs Wilde got a letter from her sister yesterday saying that she could not say when she would come, as her husband was still to unwell to travel. Mrs Wilde said that she wasn’t going to be messed about, as if there was a chance of getting away while I was on holiday, she wanted to have a change. Well, seeing that she hasn’t had a holiday since we’ve been up here, I guess she needs it. So she’s written off to Worthing Town Hall to get some addresses where she is likely to stay. Well, don’t you think this incident is a bit of darned sauce on Guy’s part. When she went home , she had the last lot of her luggage sent home through the Firm by passenger train. Well, on the day she left Beale didn’t know the cost, so she said well, I would pay what was due and settle with me. Well, it came to five bob, so I paid up and looked big, and blow me she’s been gone a month, and never sent me the cash!!!!!!! I honestly didn’t think she’d serve me like that- whether I want it or not at once, it’s a matter of principle I think. Mrs Wilde had to write and ask herto return the street door key, which she did in a registered envelope, but never put my five bob in it too and got out of that debt!!! I should have thought her thrifty mind would have worked that out before hand, and so saved poundage on the P.O. WHEN she deigns to send it to me. I think it’s the best bit of sauce I’ve had for years- because if she was hard up, I wouldn’t think any more about it until she could manage to pay, but being the mean thing she is, it’s made me really downright wild. After the rain we’ve had it’s turned very cold but I hope that it will be warmer on Saturday when I am selling flags. Jerry sounds as though he’s “copping a packet” in Berlin jut now- what a hell of a place it must be- but serve them right, every inch of the way- the Russians will take their gloves off, and hold no brief and give them everything they’ve got, - but they are so sadistic they’ll die in the resistance of such an onslaught. Glad to say I’m feeling much better again now, that pain in my hip has gone away, and I’m sleeping better. I hope you continue to keep alright dear. Take care of yourself won’t you? Bill Cox has been in the house this week , paid for my lunch one day, and comes and sits besides me every other day he’s here. He hoped I didn’t mind, but he was on his own, and so… someone said we looked nice walking down together in Houndsgate, and the others in the office tell me they won’t split to you!!!!!! Well, my love , I think I’ve said all I can think about just now, so will get this posted to you, and hope you have a nice leave. Would be nice if I could hop over to see you wouldn’t it- or better still if you could hop over’ere! Never mind, heres looking forward to July. All my love and thoughts, dear, ever and always, your own loving, MARIE x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.
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.
138 Harrow Road
Wollaton Park. Nottingham.
Wednesday. the 16th.
My dearest Peter Precious,
Had a splendid journey back, and got to N. at 7.45. But talk about "no travelling at Easter" gosh there were crowds of people even after the holiday actually finished, as Tuesday was. Still, there was no waiting for trains. Stepped from one train to the other on the other side of the platform, without rushing over bridges, etc to trains at the other side of the stations. Getting quite a hardened traveller these days, and getting to know the ropes a bit. In fact I'm almost a Cook's Tour Agent by the questions I get asked. Sometimes I fall flat and have to say I dont know.
There have been high jinks by Jerry- especially on the Thursday I left. They dropped four H.E's about a quarter of a mile from the back of the house. Several people killed, and many houses demolished. I reckon- with others, that they are after the new Rolls-Royce place they are putting up in Wollaton so fancy we are in for a warm time from now on. Especially as they have the big searchlight unit in the Estate grounds. However...... Mrs Wilde was all alone all the holiday, and strange to relate, she didn't even get out of bed. But when the bombs went off she said all of the doors banged open, and the house shook so much that she felt she had to go downstairs- gosh I bet she wished more than ever that we were there.
Lumme, how my back and shoulders- not to mention me feet- ache---- I'll give the lot of you "dig for victory" I feel as though I've dug up all the blokes allotments instead of a couple of spades full. However, as long as those carrots come up, I'll feel that I've helped Bill in his national effort. Phew, and the work that's piled itself up on my behalf!!!!!
RWB returned to-day, hoped I had a nice holiday, etc, and was pleased when I told him that you only just got Home (?) He did not add "you need not have returned" and seeing that I'm already here, its just as well.
Have you taken the snaps to be developed yet? It's a nice day, so hope you have finished the film. Wonder if you were able to get a snap of the baby. I say what about the dreadful raid on Northern Ireland last night. Really, it is a terrible business.
Don't forget to give Arthur's (Cruden) mother five bob before you go away tomorrow It would then save the poundage on a postal order for a week.
By the way, those shoes which I ordered came during the holiday. They are an awfully nice shoe for 16/9, but my stars, size 4 & half it would not fit anyone with a size 2!!!!! So therefore I must send them back, although I don't like making returns.
Well, love, it was such a lovely thing to see you again and of course to see you looking so much better. Take care of yourself, and don't work too hard. I will get those socks finished and sent off as quickly as I can. Hope someboby doesn't take them as a packet of toffee and sticks to them. You will be in a mess, them won't you. Good job the better weather is coming on now, it will give you a chance to get quite right again. It's hateful to leave you, you know. I like to be about and just watch your every bloomin move like a cat watches a mouse- and then I'm satisfied that you are doing what is good for you- not wandering round without a pullover or a hat during the cold windy weather, etc, you know all about it dont you, you've heard of me before. What happened about the old clothes?.
Well darling, ther's still something to get on with for the present, so I must away to the land of my fathers, and get down to it.
Cheerio sweetheart. thank mother for the good time she gave us together, its a pity we have to turn her out of her bed, and tell her I will write her a letter a little later on, but you can pass the news of the safe arrival, etc, now you are there.
All the very best of love, and all my thoughts, sweetheart and you know that I think of no one else but you always and at all times. Peter Precious.
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
This is a blog page for the archives in in my own collection. It includes many of of my personal archives, tales and scrapbook items to all kinds of general archive items from around the UK and its Counties. Search for items or subjects of interest under the categories below, by date or keyword, name or place etc or keyword search in the search box above. 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. All photos and articles remain copyright of Michelle Bullivant, unless stated otherwise. Please use the Contact form if you would like to use any the items shown here, thank you.