10th April, 1945
My dear one,
Our meeting was a wonderful thing. And now we have to put up with the aftereffects. I do not feel at a very good state for writing at the moment, as the ship’s been rocking a good deal. Each morning, 10 of us have to clean out the ship’s hospital. It gets us out of other jobs like mess orderly, guards, sweeping the decks, so I got on happily with our 3 baths, and lavatory pedestals, and similar number of washbasins. 3 weeks ago when I was a temporary gentleman, a chap in Lyon’s washed and brushed up, washed out my wash basin, and now I’m doing the same. I’m not too keen on doing the scabies bathroom, but …
I wonder now if you would like to wear an engagement ring? If you would like one, and it was not unlucky or something - how would you feel about getting one? I think they are jeweler’s blessings, but if wearing one would make you the least bit happier then I’d prefer it? What do you think? I’m a blunderer, but you must excuse me. I’m starting to feel more normal again, though like you, find our days together dream-like. I hope you do not weep too much, if you did weep. And if you ever do so again, let it only be at the hardness of our separation, never in despair of our future meeting and life together. Of course, my senses have been thrilled and luxuriated in you. I have become more than a little woebegone at our post-war hopes of a home by ourselves. The figures lead me to think it will be ten years before we get the chance to choose.
When the war is over, I know you will buy what you can to ensure we do not have to make any troubles in equipping our own home. If you could manage to start house-hunting: as you know I have £350 and you nearly the same, so we could raise £700 for a first payment. I am sorry that you are alone in your searches.
You know, I can’t help feeling triumphant at our relationship. It seems so wonderful to possess your regard and possess you. I do not think I have any of the slaver mentality, but I confess I’m infinitely joyful at owning you - I feel that I do. I want you absolutely, entirely, wholly. I hope you are feeling all this too, and you know in your bones I will do anything for you. You say I said enough while on leave - I’m disgusted how little I said about ourselves and about my impressions of life abroad and the army. I’m not very happy about my deficiencies as a sweetheart: I think I tease you too much.
I should be on my knees before you, confessing my utter dependence on you, imploring your interest though I may seem to have it - telling you always that without the hope of you, I should starve and thirst. Could’ve been so much more eloquent, yet my stutterings satisfied you. I am sorry we wasted those 5 nights at Bournemouth - seems to be beside the point, but there will be many more. I’m sorry about the error of judgment regarding salmon - I’ll catch a whale for you on my return.
Hope you’re getting on all right with your spring cleaning.Personally, I think far too much is made of this event. A properly-run house, would be a shame to admit it needed a really good clean-up once a year – suburban blight. But enjoy yourself – don’t mind me. I hope you can have some time with your brother Wilfred when he’s on leave, but I think that celebration is at least pre-mature while the Japanese are so strong and the fighting is likely to last for so long. Watch how we celebrate when the Fascists are vanquished, and there is freedom in Germany and everywhere else. I shall be inclined to celebrate when fighting everywhere has ended and that people seem apparently to be taking the first steps in controlling their own destinies.
Last night I was on guard - kind of stroll around the tents. I was on 11:50pm to 1:30am, and then 5:30am to 7:30am. I thought of you sleeping peacefully while I patrol the almond trees and listen to the barks of the distant dogs and the brrrp-brrrp-brrrp-brooooo of the birds here. The feeling was with me that distance doesn’t matter. In one of your letters, you say your heart beats within me. That is good - I will look after your heart. Please always try to be happy because of future prospects rather than sorrowful because of present separation. I know it’s grim, because my hands, my lips - I am very conscious of their idleness.
I love you,