Letters from World War II : J.H. Massey

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Letter from Harry Massey to Barbara Massey

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14/ important + necessary to you + which made me feel that I + nobody else could hear such words- it used to give me a most tremendous thrill + make me feel terribly excited, both mentally + physcially. And I still am enitrely susceptible to flattery + praise + loving words from you, even in your letters. You said in your letter, darling, that towards the end of these frightful gaps in my letters , you began to lose confidence in everything even in my love for you. I hope that what I have said in my letters since then may stop you ever doing that again. But if not, please dont ever do it again, dearest darling Barbara. I am entirely + completely all yours. And I have not gone fishy as you thought you may have done- in fact I feel most passionate + quite often + think of some lovely new ways of making love- which if you are fishy will not be any good! But I simply have no feeling for anybody else at all. I see I meet quite pretty + attractive girls from time to time + they remind me in a sort of way of love + passion + then I immediately begin to think of you + how much more attractive you are in every way + how I long for you + miss you It is all summed up in the fact that there is nobody else like you + there never will be + that is the excellent reason why I am all yours my darling Since I began to write today. I have done quite a lot more work + had tea + supper. And it is still a wet + windy + disgusting day + has become that kind of a night. And I am still thinking about how

Last edit 9 months ago by augustrinian
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[in margins] JH Massey

Mrs Barbara Massey [crossed out/] [?] Mrs Paul Lynwood [crossed out/] 6 Bulstrode Gardens [crossed out/] Candlemas Lane [crossed out/] maddingly Road Cambridge [crossed out/] Beaconsfield. Bucks[crossed out/]

Last edit 9 months ago by augustrinian
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Letter No. 100. Monday, Feb 23rd Major. J.H. Massey 6 Palestinian Coy, The Badds. M.E.T. My own darling Barbara, And now having arrived at number one hundred, I will go back to number one. I hope with all my heart that by the time I reach number four or five again, I shall be able to pack up my writing materials & everything else too, & post myself home to you. Do you know I have written 958 pages in my 99 letters, & So with the L.Cs not included in this number & all the () that is over 1000 pages. And I suspect that you have written somewhere about the same amount. It is an amazing amount really. I find that when I am really trying, I can just about manage four pages in an hour. But my normal rate is certainy less than 2 pages an hour. So you can imagine how much time I have spent sitting at my table & writing to you thinking about you. And I like doing so, thank goodness. In fact it is the only real way I have of enjoying myself, & feeling more or less happy somehow together with you. I posted a 16 page letter to you yesterday & now here I am beginning again. It was sweet of you to assure me again in your last letter, that you find my letters good & interesing, & loving too. I do like to know this, I hope that they are more or less like me, for better or worse, give you a fine picture of what I am or what I am doing, thinking. I hardly think that there is any need for me to reassure you, my darling. I told you in a fairly recent letter that I am quite certain that your letters to me are the most wonderful letters which anybody could possible receive. They are perfect in every way & I love them & never cease to look forward to them. It will be an extraordinary feeling when I do not

Last edit 9 months ago by augustrinian
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6.

not the guts & initiative to make a decision & allow them to come here. There is quite enough suffering & sudden death in the world today, without our so called ruling classes contributing to it with their peculiar mixture of idleness, snobishness, & ineffectuality.

I had a very sweet letter from your ma three days ago (dated Jan 8~ - & your last one is Dec 30~. it is infuriating) - she told me how well & pretty you looked. & she was [enrolling?] Maxie. I like her letters very much - they are so much more interesting & human than my own mother's. I have also had from her a Xmas number of the sporting & Dramski which, at 2/6, is a big waste of money - & a very pleasant calendar. She was telling me that you & I must take an interest in our local politics after the war. & that this would be the stepping stone to greater things. I suppose you have been talking to her, darling. In any case, I quite agree. & I hope to goodness we can do something. I know that I feel extremely strongly, & even violently, about things at the moment. And far more than wanting to see [shot?], Hitler & Mussolini & their Japanese counterpart - I want to shoot Baldwin, & Simon, & Chamberlain, if the miserable man were still alive. Those men, & many others with them, are undoubtedly responsible for the fact that Germany was ever allowed to get to a position to begin this war. And it was not a case of making mistakes - it was down right dishonesty & selfishness, coupled with the usual [admixture?] of idleness, snobishness & uneffectuality. And you & I

Last edit 7 months ago by KokaKli
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Mrs. Barbara Massey &. Mrs Jenkins [crossed out: to Mrs Paul] 6 Bulstrode Gardens [crossed out: Lynwood.] Maddingly Road [crossed out: Candlemas Lane.] Cambridge [Crossed out: Beaconsfield Bucks.]

Last edit 9 months ago by augustrinian
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Letter No. 1. Tuesday, 3rd March Major J. H. Massey 6. Pal[illegible]

darling Barbara, I am very sad & depressed. I almost heart broken I know that you will be sad for me when you hear what has happened. Peter was killed yesterday afternoon by a R.A.F. truck. I had just left my office, he of course, had joined me. As I was walking along talking to Ben, I heard a screach [sic] of breaks [sic], then yelping from Peter. I turned around & saw him lying struggling on his back on the road. I raced to him, I saw one back leg very broken. I thought that this was all that was the matter. So I picked him up as gently as I could. I began to carry him to my office. He was crying very much, I immediately let my ear & head on to it, but I did not mind this very much or I thought it helped him. I bent my head down towards one of my hands, he then got his teeth into my thumb. As I carried him along. I decided that I was not going to allow him to be put away & even if two legs were broken, I would look after him until he was better again. And then he went limp in my arms & gave two or three jerks - it was all over. The M.O. came across, but there was nothing to do. The poor little chap must have been knocked to pieces by the truck. Apparently, he had rushed across to have a bark at an Arab, the truck had been coming along & could not stop itself. So I carried him down to my room & put him on his bed outside - & then I cried awhile

Last edit 2 months ago by jaxdnaquest
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2 helplessly. I have written about him quite a lot, & you must have realized that I was very fond of him & that he was great company for me. And even if I did not say so in so many words, you may have realised for that he meant an awful lot to me. But now that the poor soul has gone, I realise, fully, just how much. You know that I have worked hard - but even so. half my mind has [underline] always [/underlined] been with you, & missing you & thinking about you - & latterly, Max too, & always, as the end of a morning's or a day's work, I have immediately thought about you & you only - & Marie too. And always you see, Peter was with me, & I used to talk to him - I liked to. I had nobody else to talk to anyway. And he used to understand in his way & in any case used to pay attention to me. I got him last March & so I have had him about 360 days - & for at least 300 of those days, I have sat at my table & written to you & [underlined] always] always [/underlined]. Peter has been beside me - sleeping, but still there for me to give a pat to from time to time. And every morning, without fail, the moment Chaimansky came in. Peter was up on my bed, licking my face & chasing around, jumping onto the table, & generally being funny. And practically [underlined] everywhere [/underlined] I went about camp, & up to the office & down again - he was always with me, or else turned up, triumphantly, from nowhere. And now I am all alone. Nobody to talk to.

Last edit 2 months ago by jaxdnaquest
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3 & nobody to come around the place with me. & nobody to be affectionate with me in the morning. You must think me too sentimental, darling - & I know he was only a dog. But I am very lonely. & I have never even wanted any friends. And Peter was my ideal companion. And apart from my loss, he was such a fine dog. Completely independant, & with his own mind about everything & everybody, he was utterly faithful to me. And he was so amazingly fit & strong & muscular. & never had a moment's trouble or illness. I always tried to say that Peter & I are the healthiest people in the M.E. Chamanski was in tears too - later Ben came in with big, red wet eyes. Poor Chamanski was very fond of Peter too - & so was dear old Ben & he was sorry for me too, I understood how I was looking. I do feel very lonely & alone without my little Peter & I never missed saying goodnight to him, out loud, & giving him a kiss. And the lst few weeks he usually insisted on coming up on my bed. If only they would send me home now - Peter would remain here in Palestine - dead, but never forgotten, because he has done so much for me. Thursday, March 5th I have been having a very busy two days & I am now feeling a little less

Last edit 2 months ago by jaxdnaquest
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4 chattered, but still very unhappy & lonely. I had been thinking a great deal about Lisa last weekend - & then on Monday, your letters nos. 77 & 79 arrived, & one of them said quite a lot about her, & described some things about the darling which you had been remembering - & that overwhelmed me with the same memories, & I could not help crying. And it was only two hours later that Peter was wiped out. And I just felt that it was too much - . I asked myself, & I will do, why it is that you & I have to suffer such tragedies. There never seems to be any half way for us. The boy could hvae been born weak - but not still. And Lisa - she could surely have been ill, as other children are - but not just swept away from us as she was. And now my dog - surely he could have been hurt or injured - but no - it had to be sadder death, & no chance given to me to do anything for him. I must come home to you soon, & I hope the war end too. And then you & I & Max can begin to build up our lives together. Quite apart from any qualities which you & I may have - . yours. My darling, are very great you & I do seem to have the quality of having wonderful & charming children, who are loved by other people. Lisa was so universally liked & admired, & you know what a gift she had for friendliness. Climbing up the gate at Nab [?] house & saying "Hello" - & "What you doing?" And talking to the old man next

Last edit 2 months ago by jaxdnaquest
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5. door. And Max sounds to be so much the same. And Peter had the same kind of friendliness & charm, he treated me as an equal & a friend, & was not very popular with so many people. I need to pay a daily round of calls. I have thought about this many times during the last few weeks - remembering Lisa, hearing from you about Marie, knowing Peter, that it is a break & gift, which we have, of dealing with children, our own children, so that they love us & like us & trust & never feel frightened or shy os us - & so they develop very naturally, happily & without complications, & all the very best comes out of them. I must now get away from my own troubles & try & be more cheerful in this letter. And first of all answer some parts of your last last two lovely letters. First of all about the Buffs, darling. I have & am nothing to do with them - & these Palestinian Cay's connection with them does not go beyond the use of their names I remain Cheshire Regt, & wear my mural badges & buttons, that is the way I shall come home. I am what is known as extra - regimentally employed, & am therefore on what is called the "X" , list of the Cheshire Ben out here, & am accounted for on that at a places called G.H.Q. 2nd Echelon, in Cairo, where every regiment & corps out here, has its records & statistics kept. As you said in your letter, the Buffs are a rather swanky & snooty experience regiment, & it would annoy me to be with them.

Last edit 2 months ago by jaxdnaquest
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