A note on the letters. The transcripts may include abbreviations or spelling inconsistencies and errors. We have chosen to transcribe the letters as they appear so that they are an accurate reflection of John Oldfield’s style and personality. We have also included his original page numbering. Where language is used that we would deem offensive, those words have been replaced with XXX.
5th Bn. The Green Howards,
Jan. 13. 41
My dear Mum and Daddy,
I hope I may be able to get a longer letter written to – night, last nights effort was a bit short I’m afraid.
Thank you both so much for your letters and your good wishes – I am as pleased as you are about my ‘Captainsey’ and hope I can keep them. Thank you very much for sending all my kit
[page 2] too. Everything arrived in fine trim, helmet – case, gun and ash – plant, and gramophone with not a scratch – on Thursday. You seem to have thought of absolutely everything I could want. So I hope not to trouble you for much more for a bit. The only other thing I had thought of was my camera, which you say Jean uses – or rather has got. I wonder whether she is actually using it?
From all accounts things have been postponed a bit, at any rate until the End of February
[page 3] Or thereabouts, but these days one never knows. I wish we were a bit nearer home and could pop over for a bit.
I am getting more the hang of things here now although it is quite amazingly different from the Regular Bn. mainly in the relations between officers and men – there is a v. distinct “on” and “off” Parade idea, which to me is a bit hard to get used to. I suppose it is mainly due to the fact that many of the Officers and men come from the same
[page 4] village etc. in my case – Beverley area which is this Company’s district. The Whitby and district Company is another one. Before I forget to tell you Daddy – the other Company Commander in this village is Will Lacey – who knows you well and has a great opinion of you. He is in the Manchester Branch of the Midland and, and as you will remember, came to aske your advice when he joined the bank. He is a Major and just got married.
So sorry to hear Jean Derry
[page 5] have been evicted by Gregson – b. fellow – I hope they find somewhere a little better for Castle Radcliffe.
On Saturday I went down to Dartmoor to do some shooting on the Ranges and was really perished with the cold. I have been down again to – day to watch a Demonstration and the weather was simply glorious – very sunny and crisp and thoroughly Enjoyable.
The name tapes arrived
[page 6] in your letter to-day Mum I will get Tattersall to get stuck into sewing them on. He is quite a good batman – T.A. – but is kept pretty occupied cooking for our small Mess, which he does quite well.
So nice to catch you both on the telephone last night, and glad to hear you are both so well, and Bruiser is in such good heart. Will write again very soon, all love to you –
Thank you so much for the hares’ legs – will write to Melrose. They have just arrived.