Letter from Harry Massey to Barbara Massey

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Letter written by Harry Massey from the No. 6 Palestine company at the Bluffs to Barbara Massey.

This is a scanned version of the original image in Special Collections and Archives at Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vt.



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Captain J. H Massey No. 6 Palestinian Company. The Buffs Middle East Forces 28th January 41

Letter no. 15

My darling sweetheartI have just received the first letter I have had from you - & in this you start off by saying that you had rather mixed feelings on having my cable from Egypt. My feelings are very mixed too. You can understand why - I am so happy at having a letter from you, & hearing the things you have to say - & at the same time, it is one year today since Lisa was taken away from us. Anniversaries do not mean very much, when we are talking about her every day of our lives, but this is the first one, & I have lived through every minute of that weekend & so very few days last year. I know you must have been doing the same & feeling very low & sad. Dearest darling, I wish I could have been with you. God bless the dear, sweet little soul. She will never be forgotten. Before I start talking about your letter & other things - I must talk about your cable of a few days ago - "Baby due May 25th". Very well all love." I called you to say how happy I was - & it is wonderful news darling, & I do feel so happy, & thrilled - & for you too. You must have thought I had had some of your letters & knew. But you should have put it in your first cable. And now I am writing you only now for the first time about it - & when you get the letter, it may be March, & the baby coming in two months or less. Oh I do hope that now I have had a cable & a letter in one week, this will be the beginning of better times, that I shall have a letter every week or two. You will be very careful, won't you darling? I know you will. And I hope you have seen a specialist - the one you saw in London before, if it is May 25th that is the full nine months. I hope it will not be as

Last edit about 1 year ago by logiebear
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2. long as this. The specialist did say a shorter time didn't he? then it will be much easier for you. You are a sweet brave darling, & I do hope you feel happy about it. But you are a funny person too. Your letter does not say a word about it. Though I suppose that was just a matter of luck, even though it was the first letter you wrote to me after getting my first cable. But I must tell you. This first letter I have from you, is dated Nov 25th - & is marked 13th letter. So there must be 12 letters wondering about the Middle East, looking for me - it is infuriating, though I always knew this must be the case. Of course, that address we were given at Oswestry, was an absolute bugger - there is no other word for it - & is enough to mislead anybody. I wrote to the Cheshires, the Worcester, G.H.Q 2nd Echelon, & A.P.O 725, giving them my address each time I moved. Nothing has happened yet - & I now expect I shall get a bunch one of these days, which will be lovely - but I should have liked them one by one, & starting a long time ago. I am praying for them to come soon - there must be so much in them I want to know about. I have called you today to write by sea mail - I think, on the whole, it will be quicker this way. But different people have different experiences - & it is hard to make up one's mind. It all seems so much a matter of luck. But I think, soon Italy will be wiped up altogether, & then everything will come spinning through the Mediteranean again. Your letter was from Bishops Stortford. I thought you might be staying with Elinor. I'm so glad, darling - at least it will be easy going & no strain for you & you can do

Last edit about 1 year ago by logiebear
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3. exactly as you like. The finances sound very rocky - & I wonder if you will still be there, now, or when this arrives. I think I will send this to Betty's again, until I hear from ^you again what your address is.

It was glorious & wonderful to hear in your letter that you miss me, & that you love me & that you long to be in my arms. I have been waiting nearly four months to hear these things from you. It is a terribly long time, & I had so much time to think, & though very nearly all the time I knew you loved me as I love you - just now & again, I felt that I was not worthy of you, & that you might suddenly realise that too. Or that there might be some awful misunderstanding about letters. But now I have your letter, & I feel like a young man in love again. It's almost like meeting again. At least, we have now made contact - & I feel things are going to be much better. I move from here shortly - but they will follow me quite easily, as I shall be in the same country, & it is only a small country. You wrote in your letter about us all helping your Ma, financially. Of course we must, darling - & I wrote in a letter in December about this, that you must do whatever you think: I do hope you received this. And I hope that what we can all do will be enough. It is a shame for her - she has been so used to being generous & helping people & I hope she will not feel bad about being helped herself now. There is no need for her to do - because I know I feel very happy to be able to do something. We shall be better off, now I have this job. As a Captain. my pay is increased by £1-4-6 P.M & if

Last edit about 1 year ago by logiebear
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4. I become a Major, which I think I sahll, my pay is increased by £5-8-6 pw - less income tax. So you see. About this Major business, you will have heard by cable, before you get this, whether I am or not. But I think it is pretty certain now. I have had to work very hard for it & absolutely go for it, & generally put my weight about. I found this company under the temporary command of a Lieut on the Depot Staff here - & I think the idea was that I should gently work in with him, until a Major cam to take command properly, & I should then be 2nd in command . The lieut was a very nice fellow & very helpful, but I hardened my heart & went my own way, & pushed him clean out of the picture, & he was reseated to the Depot Staff on the third day. I then proceeded to let everything up in the company's straighten out a whole lot of things which had been left to lie - & also introduced a number of my own ideas - & after about a week, I sought out an opportunity, & asked the C.O if I was going to get command. He seemed a little surprised at the directness of the question, & asked me if I thought I could managed it alright. I told him I was quite certain I could, & told him why. So he said he would speak to the Military Secretary about me. I heard a few days later that he had remarked that that chap Massey certainly got hold of the reins, & on with the job so I had another word with him the next day, & he told me he had recommended me. And on Saturday morning, he told me that a captain was coming any day now, as 2nd in command.

Last edit about 1 year ago by logiebear
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5. someone who was in the last war. And a Major is arriving tomorrow, & is being posted to another company, which is going out from here after us. So barring accidents - there I am. Major Massey. And you - Mrs Major Massey! I shall be very thankful to have my own show - I hate being told what to do, & I'm quite confident I can do the job better than anybody else. And the time will pass so much quicker. And the money will be so useful. I don't want any more to spend at all but we can do a little more for your Ma - & we can save some to start you again after the war. And you my darling, must spend just what you want to spend. I don't know whether you have been getting Bank statements, & following our finances at all. But it is all becoming a bit complicated. On the boat, I had no field allowance, which is 2f per day. At the I.B.D. I had. Here, as we are in huts, & gira beds & chairs, I have not. When we leave here, we go under canvas again, & so I do. But - in any case. I have paid into a Bank out here - so you do not really need to worry. I have arranged for my pay to be paid into Martins. But from time to time I draw £5, from the Field cashier, that is eventually deducted in England. So I do not know what you will make of it. Anyway, when my rank etc is decided, I will write Gordon Mitchell fully - & ask him to tell you all about it. Up to now, on aggregate, i seem to have spent rather a lot

Last edit about 1 year ago by logiebear
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