Letter from Harry Massey to Barbara Massey

ReadAboutContentsHelp

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.



Pages That Need Transcription

p.
Needs Review

p.

Letter No. 35 Monday April 21st Major J.H.Massey 6 Palestinian Coy, The Buffs Middle East Force My darling, sweet Barbara, Thank goodness, your letters have started again at last. Last night. I was writing to you miserably but said that I hoped Monday would bring me luck again, and it has done. Your 31st letter, posted on March 3rd, and a really lovely letter too and it has made me very happy and contented today - it has just made all the difference. But I wish somebody could tell me what happens to the other ones - I have now had -- 1 - 5 - 7 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 19 - 2122 - 22 1/2 - 23 - 25 - 26 - 31 - but, of course, in nothing like that order. But I must not go flying off the handle again about these posts - you must be getting pretty bored with it by now. But it does make me so furious I was so pleased to hear that my letters are arriving alright, and that my long one - no 4 - had appears at last. As I think I told you before, it looked so fat and [in...] - and represented so many eggs in one basket, if it had been unlucky enough tto meet a u-boat. Your letter arrived today, just five minutes after the weekly half hour I have appointed for wearing respirators - and when I got to the part about Lisa' gravestone, I could not keep my tears back, and as people kept coming into my office for things, I was glad of the respirator. My poor sweet darling - it must be a sad and heartbreaking task, and you are very brave to do it. But I am so happy that you are, and you will be, too. Of course, I agree that - darling child of ____ is the only inscription you could put. She was beloved, and dearly loved, but

Last edit 3 months ago by Susan R
p.
Needs Review

p.

2.

more than anything else, she was our darling child and that is how we shall always think of her.

April 22nd. I felt so terribly sad after witing this last night, that I just could not go on, but just sat and thought and thought about Lisa and about you, and about all the happiness we have had, and what might have been if things had not gone so tragically wrong, and just could not write any more.

Today has been the most incredible day for me. Your 29th letter arrived - and also your postcard, posted on April 12th! 10 days to reach me - I just cannot understand it at all. You had only put a 3d stamp on, so is this some new system or service, or is it an amazing fluke, or is this going to be a regular thing? It is really incredible - you must have recevied my cable about being a major, the day after I sent it - and now your postcard back so soon. I immediately felt much nearer home again - 6 -7 weeks is a such a very long time and makes me feel so far away from you. But this is quite differnt. Oh, I do hope it keeps up. I thought you would be pleased about the major business, and it is lovely to hear you say that you are proud of me. That is the one big reason that I am so bucked about it - especially after you had given me direct instructions to hurry up and be one as soon as possible. And I don't epect you really thought, at the time, that it might be so soon.

And then you just mentioned in your post card about

Last edit 3 months ago by MaryV
p.
Complete

p.

3.

Commission, too. How wonderful, darling, & I wonder how much it is. I had wondered if they would pay it, & really felt that they should do, on account of my hard work - but even so, it is a very pleasant surprise to find them actually doing the decent and generous thing. I hope that, apart from just paying it, they also realise that they have to thank me for the profits which are apparently being made now.

I really hardly know what to say about letting the firm know that I am now a major. They are almost bound to discover it, sooner or later, so perhaps, if you are writing to anybody, you could mention it, but also say that there is nothing permanent about it, & as soon as I leave this appointment, I become a Lieutenant again.

Your p.c. also said that you had found a house in S. Devon - I am so glad, darling. I do hope it materialises & turns out to be what you want. Your last two letters had been so unsettled & forlorn about a place to go & live, & I was beginning to feel very worried about you & hoping all the time that you would find a place.

It sounds to me disgusting the way profits are being made out of houses in convenient areas - & I wish the Govt could step in, & stabilise rents at their original prices, perhaps plus a reasonable percentage to cover increased costs. I shall now look forward to your letter telling me more about it. I hope it is near somewhere for shopping & seeing a few flicks. And you said in your letter today, that I did not tell you much about my life. I think I have

Last edit 3 months ago by MaryV
p.
Needs Review

p.

4.

told you quite a lot since then, but at the I.B.D. it was such a dull life in many ways, and I was so frantically depressed at that time, and there really was so little to tell. But in future, I will try and be more interesting. Though here I lead a very dull and quiet life darling, as I have told you. Much work, and the concerts and a few films, and an occasional outing - and a great deal of time by myself. I'm afraid I waste a great deal of this time, when I might be writing to you or reading - by just sitting and thinking and feeling sad - but I do enjoy sitting and thinking. Of course, I will see more of Palestine, sometime soon, but up to now, there is too much work to think of any leave, and mroe than anything else, I like to be by myself - and now I have Peter to keep me company, which helps quite a bit. But so much and so many of my thoughts are sad and about Lisa, and very often I have not wanted to write very much about this, because I cannot tell how you will be feeling when my letter arrives, and I do not want to make you any more sad and unhappy than you alreday may be.

I'm afraid that I made a bad mistake, in sending some of my letters by sea mail, and this will be what is causing the gap in the arrival of my letters. But I spoke to many people at the time, and eventually came to the conclusion that sea mail had started going through the Mediterranean, and I felt bound to try it. If only I had not done that, you at least would have been assured of continuity. The mistake will not be made again.

Last edit 3 months ago by MaryV
p.
Complete

p.

5. It's so baffling darling, the order in which your letters arrive In one every thing is fine, and then another one comes in which everthing seems to be wrong for you - then I have to realise that the last one was posted much before the previous one - and so I console myself by saying that everything is alright again now - then still another one comes, later again, in which you are down again. And it is the same about how you are getting my letters too - and suddenly, instead things improving they are becoming worse.

I was reading through all your older letters again, last week - and felt so upset and furious again about that awful misunderstanding about the money I am spending . I just jumped up and down in my chair and wrung my hands, hopelessly, that you should have been caused so much worry and anxiety and sorrow and I suppose anger - when I should have explained things in my letters as I went along. I did tell you quite a lot about it, I thought, but apparently not enough, and maybe one or two letters were missing at that time. It is too late to do anything now, because it has happened, and now you know that it was all a mistake. But it does seem to tragic and enfuriating - that you had been saving and scraping along so carefully and so sweetly, and you were so proud of it, from your letters to me - and then suddenly you get the bombshell, which suggests that I am having a gay, pissy old time and not caring a damn for anybody or anything. Whereas, in fact, I was buried

Last edit 2 months ago by Susan R
Displaying Page 1 - 5 of 13 in total