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.
Napier Road Chatham
Mrs. M. Murray Garside,
Capt. JB. Oldfield
5th. Bn The Green Howards
MIDDLE EAST FORCES
January. 12th. 42.
My dear old M.
I have been meaning to write to you for long enough and succeeded last week in sending a Airmail P/C, which I hoped might reach you in record time – but have since found they are not allowed from this end and are sent by Surface Mail, so that you will probably get this first.
I wrote primarily to say how relieved I was to hear that Richard was a survivor and how very thankful I was for you and for us all. It must have been terribly worrying for you and I am so pleased that
[page 2] It all turned out well. I know you will be missing him but am v. pleased you were lucky enough to have so long together. Although it’s hard when he’s so far away, it’s much better that way. I know, unpleasant as it sometimes is, I wouldn’t have missed coming out here, and I know he will feel the same.
Isn’t it simply grand about Jumbo and her Bun – I only heard definitely about January 6th – a month after and immediately got pickled. I really think it’s a splendid performance and I am very proud to be an Uncle and Godfather.
Life out here goes on much the same, plenty to do and not much ‘let-up’ . I am at Bde H.Q. at the moment working with the B.M. in prep
[page 3] For my course at the Junior Staff School which starts on Feb. 15 and goes on until April 25th, so I should learn quite a lot. At any rate it will be a good change and might lead to something interesting afterwards. Though I shall be sorry to leave the Bn. and particularly my Company, which I’m very proud.
So pleased to hear you are doing so well, congratulations on yr. promotion and good luck on yr. course. You must find the work v. interesting. You would enjoy having Mum down to stay with you, it wd. Do you both good. By now she will have returned home from Ireland. Well I must stop and go to bed – will write again soon, until then Godbless,