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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Letter No. 76 - Thursday Oct 9th

Major J.H. Massey 6 Palestinian Coy, The Buffs, M.E.F.

My sweet darling, It is 10.30 & really too late to write but I do want to begin a letter. After having a letter & 2 Airgraphs from you on TuesdayI had another letter yesterday which was wonderful. The only trouble about getting several letters all together is that it is bound to be followed by an interval of no letters at all. But really they are coming quite well now, considering the distance & the difficulties & the last 6 have come in the correct order. You are writing me such lovely, wonderful, long, loving letters my darling - I must tell you again how good you are & how much I look forward to them & what they mean to me & how happy & content they make me when they come. You are the most wonderful person in the world to be with - & also the most wonderful to be away from, if you see what I mean. I do thank you from the bottom of my heart for your letters, sweetheart.

You said in your letter that you hoped my grave responsiblities would not stop me from being funny & making you laugh. I can promise you faithfully & absolutely that there is not the faintest chance of that happening - I'm not getting at all pompous really. And I can promise you that I will make you laugh a lot when I come home; so many funny things are happening almost every day. I would give the world to be able to come home each evening & tell you about them. Honestly, I believe it is being able to see the funny side of things out there that does keep me going. Because taking matters fairly seriously as I do, I should

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be ill. I think, if I could not laugh at them too. Oh darling - I think so much about coming home & what wonderful times we are going to have & what we are going to do - how we shall order our lives to get the maximum enjoyment & interest & value & excitement out of them. I want to make up for all your misery. I want to live up to & exceed all that you are looking forward to. By way of reading Art & educating myself - I am afraid I am rather a disappointment to myself; but you know how little time I have & you know I am not reading any rubbish or wasting my time by going out to places. And I think a great deal too about our love & sex life - in fact that is my sex life at the moment, & has been for a year; living in the past & the future. What wonderful lives we shall have my darling sweetest. It is so gloriously wonderful to think that we understand each other so well & feel the same. I feel that I can do anything to you that I want to do & you to me. And there is never a chance of you feeling I don't really know how to express myself, darling, but I mean you do not feel that I am being "disrespectful" or cheapening you. Do you understand. I know you do. And being like this - we can be so thrillingly happy - I feel that we will have untold depths of passion & glory to explore. Darling sweetest heart, when I write to you like this & when I think of you like this, I become big & throb with longing for you - as I am now. And I feel myself buried deep inside you & your darling legs clinging to me & your breasts are

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inside my heart & darling your sweet lovely face has such a wonderful expression - your kisses are heaven to me, the love in your eyes has nearly made me faint, many times. You remember, don't you, sweetest, I always wanted light to see you. Only because you are so beautiful & I had to see you.

When we meet again my darling it will almost be like starting all over again - probably quite differently. I shall feel that I must woo you again & even seduce you. You have said you will feel shy perhaps - I think I may so too. Won't it be glorious & wonderful? I think at first, I shall just want to hold you & look at you & talk to you & kiss you. I know, once I get hold of you into my arms, I shall not want to let go of you.

Oh dear, it is maybe foolish to make plans - but I think it would be deadly not to. Maybe the war will end soon - maybe I shall be sent home - & maybe I shall be here for another year or more, which God forbid. But I shall always be looking eagerly forward.

It is 12.0. I must go to bed. I had a long interruption tonight. And tomorrrow evening I have to make this recruiting speech. I will tell you all about it on Saturday. Love & kisses & sleep well my own darling XXX H

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Saturday Oct 11th Well darling - this recruiting meeting was quite an affair, I must tell you all about it. Ben came along with me, as interpreter. Having had quite an amout of practice by now with lectures to the Coy & so on, we are pretty good together. I know just how many sentences he can cope with in each go - he is able to sense when I am stopping to allow him to carry on translating, when I am pausing for effect, or to find a word.

First of all we met Zaharoff - you remember me telling you about him? who took us to dinner at Ritz in Tel Aviv. The meeting was at a Cinema in the city - all Jewish cinemas are closed on Friday evenings. There we found an enormous crowd - between 2 & 3,000 I should imagine, because it was a big place & many people were standing. On the platform I found various people - including Mr Shartok, who is the head of the political department of the Jewish Agency, & after Dr Weizman, who is mostly in England & America. Probably the most important Jew in Palestine today: & a Major Aran, who is English, a member of the Samuel family, bears the distinction of being the first Palestinian Jew (that sounds a little contradictory but he left England some years ago, & joined up as a Palestinian) to command a Jewish unit - he is R.A.S.C.. The Chairman kicked off in Hebrew of course I could not understand a word - but Shartok who was sitting next to me kept me roughly informed. Aran then made the first speech. Then the Chairman was up again. I heard my name mentioned, & found tht I was on next. I drew several round of loud applause in my first few sentences, by telling them that

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I was proud & interested to command a Jewish Unit & explaining my reasons. I then outlined the career of the Coy since February & laid stress on all their successes & achievements & usefulness. Then I told them about our intensive training for war, which is going on at the moment. I then "lost" (got heated) my temper about these ignorant & misinformed people who say that the Palestinian Buffs are no more than police - I asked them what could be more right than that the Palestine garrison should be largely Palestinian - men who will be fighting for their own country & who know the country. I then shouted at them to join up & not to delay a moment; not to wait for conscription or the new man - or America - or victory by Russia, or by the Allies, "that would be fatal, thousands of young men may be too late. Let the Jews of Palestine show the world, the Allies, the U.S.A., that they are in the war. Let Hitler & his revolting gang who now enter Nazi German feel our spirit & your will to conquer & to repay the misery which he has brought to all of us. Then we may enjoy to the full, together - the victory was by all of us - together go forward to make the peace & the New World". (loud applause). All this, together with the translation took over 1/2 hour. And when I sat down, Shertok nodded approvingly & said it was very meaty. An old man, a Muktar from one of the oldest Jewish settelements then spoke & told them of his visit to Jewish units in Egypt, E. Africa, then came Shertok. He is quite a small man, with a black moustache, black crinkly hair, just a little bit like Bill Paul apart from the crinkly hair. He is

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