Oldfield letter: 26.12.39

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.


W.A. Oldfield . esq 5th Division
Sandsend B.E.F
Nr Whitby

No 6 December 26th

My dear Mummy, Daddy & Jum,
This is just a quick line – before I turn in – to wish you all a very Happy New Year. I hope you had a good Christmas at Sandsend – I kept wondering what you would be doing and wished very much I could have been there, still, let’s hope next Christmas may be luckier than this, and the last one, and that we shall all have it together.

I think I said in my last letter that the General and I had been over to see the Regiment, and had seen Robert, Derry and one or two of the others. They all seemed in great heart & sent their love: Derry got his photograph, Jum, and is very pleased with it though he says it hardly does you justice – so it must be very bad! Still if you can spare one I’d like to have one. If you do get a … … was… that you get the money off my … as the braces must have been very expensive. [indecipherable wording]

Things are really much the same here and one day is very much like another, we have had about a weeks white frost but the thaw set in last night and everything is just slush now. The Generals brother who is fairly near came for the night last night and had dinner here, then we played Roulette until about twelve. Yesterday afternoon we listened in to the Empire broadcast, which is always good and then the King’s speech, which came over very clearly we thought. Your cake went down very well, Mummy and if anything is a bit too popular! as we’ve already made a big hole in it.

The General had a card from Princess Mary and was very pleased with it, and I had one from Richard and Bid and another from Paddy -Nugent , also some cigarettes from Joe and also from Ruby and Frida – I’ve never had so many presents and must try and get some letters written to thank people.
The remainder (of the H-Q-Staff) arrived on Saturday and since then we have been kept pretty busy – to-night I have just come back from a concert (E.N.S.A) with D’Arcy Mander. It was really quite a good show and the two main items on the bill had been on at the Gaiety in Catterick just before I left.
There seems nothing really in the way of news- so will write again soon and will really try and let you have letter that’s bit more interesting. Keep writing when you can spare the time.
Godbless and love to you all,
Yours ever,