Letters from World War II : J.H. Massey

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Letter from Harry Massey to Barbara Massey

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out on the boat with Norman Williamson, of all people. Norman is a very good man, very, very amusing, in his own [Bass]way - but I rather hope I steer clear of him - he gets into such dreadful scrapes and messes. It seems he is aware of my presence in the Middle East, having found my name in the Duty Officer's book at the I.B.D. I shall have to frightfully senior and assert my rank, if my path happens to cross his.

I don't think I ever told you about my batman, did I? His name is [Choinatzki], and he is 21, and a Pole, and a very nice little man, clean and fresh and looks after me very well indeed. I got him when I first went to the P.R.T.D. and have had him ever since. He had never done this sort of thing before, and darning and mending were quite new to him. But he learnt very quickly, and now does everything for me. He also takes good care of Peter, when I am busy or out - and can often be seen walking him up and down the road on the lead and looking rather self conscious.

Corporal [Labitsch?], my very pleasant, efficient and intelligent Orderly Room Corporal - I have now made into a Sergeant. He was very thrilled and thought for a moment, at the time, that he was going to kiss me. The lift to Sergeant is a very real one,

Last edit almost 2 years ago by MaryV
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another thing not to worry about. The pipe has not been so successfyl, but that is not really my fault after about a week, I started earache, and kind of neuralgia on the left side of my face. So I went to the M.O. He syringed the ear out - and then sait I should have my teeth xrayed. So I said I had heard that one before, and declined. I stopped smoking my pipe, and all the trouble stopped too. So it just seems that my teeth are not strong enough to hold a pipe, which is rather a shame. But I never could smoke on the right side, and ont he left side is my bridge tooth. It's now 12-0 - and I must go to bed. I do hope there is a letter from you tomorrow - Monday was my lucky day for some time.

This house has a pleasant little garden - and I am able to gather flowers every few days, which I have in front of photographs. White roses, and sweet william, and some other pretty coloured small flowers. I look and look at your pictures so much and so often, darling mine. And always I come to the same conclusion, that you are very lovely to look at, and I know you are very sweet and wonderful - and that i love you terribly much, and miss you painfully and more than I can say. And the only things I want are for you to be happy, and for me to come back to you soon. all my love to you sweetestheart - and to the baby. Always and forever your own Harry. always xxxxxx

Last edit almost 3 years ago by tt
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Mrs. H. Massey c/o Mrs Paul Lynwood Candlemas Lane Beaconsfield Bucks England

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Sgt Lubitoch

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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 about 2 years ago by SRandlett
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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 about 2 years ago by MaryV
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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.

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ridiculous and right out of the question. I sometimes think there is something going wrong with me, and that I am becoming a bit fishlike - and then I only have to think about you for a moment, and I know I am alright. No, my darling sweetheart, I'm just hopelessly, utterly, and completely in love with you. Nobody else is necessary to me, and I could not, and would not, allow anybody to come between us for a single moment. I still feel, and always shall feel so strongly, that if ever I were to allow anything to happen, it would somehow spoil things for a long time to come, even though you knew nothing about it at all. But it's not really possible to analyse, the whole idea is impossible and repugnant. It's just you, you, you, and all of you and nothing but you, for always and forever. You are sweet, and wonderful darling and there is nobody like you, and I know it very, very well - and that must be the secret of the whole business.

Oh God, but you are wonderful and lovely and gorgeous, my darling - and I am so conscious of it, all the time.

I love hearing you say in your letter that you will do your bestto be a s pretty as possible for me when I come back. I know you will and you will be beautiful and pretty - but I so love you to know yourself that you pretty too. And I hope that I am in some measure responsible for you being so sure about that, lovely darling And I'm quite certain that you will always be pretty and lovely - and that I shall always lov eyou passionately. I hope too

Last edit about 2 years ago by MaryV
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8. that I shall be able to maintain a decent standard of looks and health and agility for a long time to come, and that you will always be able to love me. And you said in your letter darling, that you hoped that I believe implicitly in your love for me, otherwise you would be hurt, because it would mean you had not proven it by your actions as a wife. That was very sweetly put, my darling (you do write wonderful letters), and gave me a tremendous thrill to read. I do believe it, darling - and thiat is why I always want to hear it from your, because i know you meain it and that it is real. It is the most wonderful thing in the world to me out here, to know that you love me truly, and that my love is important and even essential to you. That you love me, is everything in the world to me - and if you were ever to stop loving me or wanting my love, or if anything were ever to happen to you - it would be the end of everything for me, and I could not and wouldnot want to go on living. And as for being a good wife, you have been and you are so wonderful, that I could not write about it, really I could not - if only I could tell you, and if only I had told you more when we were togheter. It gives me terrific confidence in myself, when I think that it is you who loves me. You don't even need to have to cook, darling! I must go to bed now - so I will finish this

Last edit almost 3 years ago by tt
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9. tomorrow. Goodnight sweetheart darling. All of my dearest deepest, fondest most passionate love and kisses. Harry.

April 23rd: Another p.c. arrived today from April 4th - and you tell me it is a new system- and it seems to be working quite well. And also one from my ma too, in which she did not say very much, except that everyone was well. You sounded very fed up and down in the mouth - poor sweetheart, it is a damn shame - but since then you have lined up the house in S. Devon, I hope, and my letters will have started again and stopped you feeling cut off. And you tell me the amount of hte commission, too. [L] 160 - how marvellous, darling, how truly wonderful. The old firm of {D. North & Co Ltd] must have been doing pretty well - that shoulds like about [L]15,000 profit in the year. How hateful to think that McCallum will get it too, the little rat - but perhaps it will be as well if he is able to save a bit, and then he will be able to retire when I return. He must dread the day twhen the ware ends and I come back again, and chase him away next door again, and give him respberries twice a day. Poor little bastard. As you say, darling, what with this and the majority, we do seem to be pretty opulent. And as we both agree about not spending it now, we should be in the most unusal position, when we set up house again, of being able to buy things for it, and have it as we want it. That should be the overdraft finally dealt with, darling - what with our economies of the last few months + commission + major's pay - and still pay your

Last edit 5 months ago by MaryV
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