Oldfield letter: 15.1.40

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.


Mrs. V. E. Oldfield
Near Whitby,
Yorks. ENGLAND J. B.Oldfield
5th Division,

January. 15th. 1940.
My dear mum, Daddy and Jum,
Have just got back again and I found two letters from you and the Tobacco – Thank you very much indeed for it Daddy , it’s a very nice present indeed and well worth waiting for . Also for your letters and all the news – it’s some comfort to know that it’s cold in England too ! It is still absolutely bitter here, and where we were billeted for the last two nights it was so cold that when the bat men spilt some water out side our room , someone slipped up on it about a quarter of an hour later. Again, one of the drivers was backing his lorry in the dark when he heard a most alarming cracking, got out and found that he’d backed it on to the village pond, so got in again and drove it off, so you can imagine how thick the ice must have been. I slept in two sweaters, my sheep-skin and a dressing gown over my pyjamas and was frozen. However, we are back again now, and I have just had a good hot bath so all is comparatively good again.
I am so glad Jill is a bit better, poor little mite, she would hate to have anything wrong with her as she is such a lively little thing. I’m very pleased hunting has started again with you, and I hope you had a good day from Whitby. It was very disappointing about the Sandsend meet being cancelled, and hope that they’ll fix it in for you before long.
Thank you very much for writing to the appropriate people thanking them for the cigarettes, Daddy, I’m sure that will do the trick !
So pleased the Firth wedding went off so well, Jum, it sounded quite a good show. Also that you saw Derek, what is he doing with himself now ? it seems the devil of a time since we all fell off the raft ? I always think what luck that someone had a – camera, as it was the only funny thing we got out of it.
I had a whole host of letters waiting for me to-night which is always very nice: Your two, and ones from Margaret S-M, Cynthia and Rosemary Smythe, so I shall have to get down to do some letter writing .
I see In one of the English newspapers this evening that the girl who took the part of “Alladin” in the panto we saw the other night, was accused of being a spy by a couple of French detectives, because she was wearing trousers, and they thought she must be trying to disguise herself. It would have taken a good deal more than trousers to do that.
Well, my dears, I’ve a lot of work to get through before I turn in so – must stop. Thank you again, Daddy, very much indeed for the 4 big tins of “No-Name” , I have just opened the first one.
Much Love and Godbless,
Yours Ever,

J. B. Oldfield