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.
On active service
April 25th 40.
My dear Daddy,
First of all thank you very much indeed for your splendid present of one pound of “No Name” tobacco – it really is very generous and I am more than pleased with it, as one never knows these days when you will be cut off from supplies of tobacco – and in any case “No Name” cannot be got out here. So it is one of the nicest present I could have had, many thanks too Daddy for your good wishes – no one knows more than I that next year I may be fortunate enough to have a birthday at home for a change.
The Gazette arrived yesterday and I was most interested in the accounts of the Hunt Meeting and so pleased it went off so well. It must be very satisfying to you and all those who have done so much to keep it going – and also to feel that the will to keep the pack hunting is so unanimous. Let’s hope that soon – when all this is over – we may be chasing foxes again. I was very interested too in the photographs of the Cark-in-Cartmel horses and think they are excellent – also the photo’s of the meet at the kennels which are topping and have a fine background – though judging by the length of my ‘storrips’ – I think I must have been doing my
little jockey on him ! I am looking forward to seeing some snaps of Chuffy and the trap and am so glad Mum decided to do a deal – though I thought she had her heart set on having the pony. I think we shall all enjoy having it and it will be useful in no end of ways. Please thank Jean for her letter telling me all about it and I will write to Mum and her as soon as I can find the time –
So glad Mum’s dance was such a great success – I’m sure it deserved to be, and I can quite imagine the Militia boys would be grateful for the taxi.
You will be glad to hear that I ran into Bill Riley the other night and had two (strictly accurate) drinks with him. He was in great heart and evidently came home from Palestine roughly the same time as I did – to catch the Polo season’ – so he said. He asked after all of you and knew that Biddy had been married and am trying to think how as I can’t remember seeing him except for a few seconds outside Nabeus Fort. It was grand seeing him again as now that Derry and Ronnie are away – there aren’t many people I want to go out with. Though just lately I haven’t had the opportunity. I am hoping to-morrow night (Friday) to celebrate by going to see a Will Hay Variety Show – but expect that
I may have too much to do – I know I shan’t be able to make merry on the actual day.
The question of Stilton cheese was raised again to-day and I was wondering whether Mum could send me out a large one for the Mess and let me know the cost, also how to treat it – as they have to be coaxed with port I believe. I have said that I have already ordered one – as I should have done – had I had a little more leave, so if she could get one sent to me, I should be most grateful.
Well Daddy I’m afraid theres no news – everything is rather indefinite, but will let you know the odds on my leave as soon as I can. At the moment I don’t know how it stands.
Thank you so much again for the tobacco – the General says your spoiling me sending me out such expensive tobacco as “No Name”.
My fondest love to you all,
P.S. about the Daimler – I don’t know what to say – I don’t want to be without a car – specially it, but I suppose I wd. be silly not to take a good price. I will think it over and let you know. Love Johnnie