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
Sandsend, No 4 at Sea, C company.
Near Whitby, 5th Bn The Green Howards
Yorks. C/O A.P.O. 890.
Please forward to Jean
June. 4th. 41.
My dear Mum and daddy,
Just another line as we are getting near our next port and there will be another post. We left the other one only a few days ago having had nearly a week of concentrated parties with precious little sleep. So another short sea voyage was about what we needed – the haze of alcoholic remorse has about passed away, we really did have a Terrific time at the last port and enjoyed it all tremendously – there was a Dance or party of some sort
[page 2] Somewhere each night at one or other of the Clubs where we were made Honorary Members, we saw a Rugger Match and climbed a famous Mountain – and spent a long time o’ nights on the mountain road in cars looking at the lights which after our blackout were a v. nice change. I don’t think we wasted our time and saw a lot in the few days we were there, found the people v. charming, generous and hospitable and the lasses very beautiful – so we should have enjoyed it. We did a Route March or two through the town with the Band and the pop. Were suitably impressed. They are terrific party people and by now have got entertaining convoys just about taped. All great fun.
[Page 3] Since we left, there has been a back – to – work movement wh. has not been a great success as the next port is so near, and everyone is thinking of that.
I gave a lecture to the Officers the other evening – most of us have to – and I spoke on the ‘ Story of the B.E.F.’ and gave a general picture of the operations in Flanders from May 10th to 31st. I was helped greatly by the book you gave me Mum, ‘ Dunkirk and After’ wh. incidentally is so popular and borrowed so much, I find it quite hard to always know where to find it. The lecture seemed to go quite well, in fact I quite enjoyed giving it, more so as I knew more generally of what happened in France than anyone else here.
[page 4] I have just been up in the Crow’s Nest for ¼ hr and watching the ship sail along in the moon light and v. lovely she looks, to get up one climbs up an iron ladder inside the mast about 60’ high.
Well dears, I again have lots of letters to censor and not long to do it in so will write again very soon to you. I don’t expect we shall spend quite as long at the next port.
Take care of yourselves and keep writing to me –
All love and Godbless,