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.
Mr & Mrs W. Oldfield Headquarters
Sandsend, 5th Division
Near Whitby B.E.F.
February 11th. 40
My dear Mum, Daddy & Jum.
Thank you very much for your letters – this I’m afraid will only be a short one but thought I’d first drop a line before turning it. I seem to have had quite a busy time these last few days and have only got back just over four days from visiting the boys lot, although ultimately I didn’t see any of them except for Ronnie for a minute or two – and then wasn’t able to see him again before I had to leave. However Derry and he come back this week so we shall all be able to foregather again before long.
Jerry has got pneumonia and evidently got it on the trip. He went to bed
on the way back but was up the next day and seemed chirpy enough. When we got back here though he had to go to his bed again and looked like death. He went off in the ambulance a couple of days ago, and we are told that he’s had pneumonia, but the crisis is past and his temperature is going down. He is being sent home sometime this week to recover. Poor old G. he really looked like nothing on earth and must have felt pretty grim. I hope he wont be too long away as he is a grand person to have in the mess great fun.
I’m afraid my leave will be delayed for a few days but the B.W.C. hopes not for more that a week at the most – so although it’s a bit longer to wait, it’s not all that long now – and really about the one thing to look forward to – but it is really something to look forward to, isn’t it ? I’m longing to
see you all again and will have the most terrific party, won’t we ?
You will never guess who I saw last night, no less a man than ‘wick’ – The great Whittaker Holmes, I couldn’t for the life of me remember what his name was though I remembered him as soon as I saw him- but then it would take a long time to forget him.
Feeling very sleepy to-night so will write in a day or two when I am able to marshall what news there is. Tell my Badger that I’m coming for him soon and that if she doesn’t remember she’ll get a kick on her fat little bottom.
My love to you,