Letters from World War II : J.H. Massey

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Letter from Harry Massey to Barbara Massey

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2/ my darling we must realise + understand all the time that we love each other I love you + you love me - that we are happy + lucky we must always realise it even if we have to quarrel to do so But it will be better neve to quarrel Argue + fight but never quarrel But this barren existence away from you my sweetheart It is utter misery + I am consistently miserable + unhappy + just longing for you there is such a colossal difference between being with you + not being with you To hear of Peggy + Kenneth having a week's leave together - it just makes me sick with envy + must go to bed nowI have had a most unsatisfactory Sunday - except that I stayed in bed until 9.0 on this Sunday morning- working + waiting for certain things to happen But I wanted to write about being miserable -I wanted to get another letter started anyway Love + kisses - dearest Barbara xxx Harry Monday -19 May This is more of a diary than a letter because it is now 10.30 + my mosquito net with a bed underneath it looks very inviting this morning I was up at 6.30 worked hard + then for the first time was President of a Court Martial at 10-0 Everything went very smoothly + it was all over at 1.0 was really too smooth + I was very annoyed at the poor showing put up by the Defending Officer you remember how hard I used to work sailing about on my bicycle with all the books + papers under my arm + the amount of thought + effort I put into ---my

Last edit over 2 years ago by LibrarianDiva
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3 cases so much that I got a rocket from Bloody Davenport + was stopped sleeping out with you the least Well the young man was milk + water + made no real effort at all I am going to push in a report tomorrow All this afternoon I did this morning's work And this evening I had to go out + see the Marines about a job And then I called on my Hospital Ship which was in again this time with some scars having been barbed + machine gunned And then a most remarkable thing happened I think in my last letter I told you about Jack Perrott Well I was within 200 yds of the barracks when I passed three officers + one of them looked like Jack - but I thought it was impossible + then I stopped my car deciding it was better to appear foolish than to live in ignorance or uncertainty they had just gome into a house but I caught the last one + said "Is that Perrott" - + it was it is rather incredible isn't it ? He had been living in that flat for 6 weeks which shows just how much I get around We were very pleased to see each other but I could not stay long + will be seeing him again in a day or so And then I had dinner sandwiched between some more work + now I am here Dear Tony my second in command has now gone sick which is no help at all It is bloody the way these peole cannot take it I suppose I am very lucky having such a stolid constitution I must say I feel very well + healthy + I work 10 times harder than anyone else I have all the responsibility too But the last thing I expect to do is to go sick

Last edit over 2 years ago by LibrarianDiva
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4/ I must be stopping darling - I feel very sleepy + very dirty too + Chojnajki has a hot bath ready for me You said in one letter I was always gassing about my allusions! im sorry my sweet but you tell me to be careful + look after myself - + bathing seems to be so important And I enjoy my baths too I think they are the nearest I get to sex To see myself naked + think of all the lonely times we have have had + before during + after bathing sweetheart And you have instructed me about my hair too + I am doing what you tell me Twice a week I rub oil in like hell + then wash my hair - it seems fine It is very annoying because Vaseline Hair Tonic has now been out in the Middle East I racked my brains for a substitute + found there is no similar product And then I had a brain wave - I think + hope + I am now using liquid paraffin for the stomach It is oily + pure + does not smell I was so then pleased with my idea And now to bath + bed Hugs + kisses sweetiepie xxx Harry Tuesday 20th May I had another p.c from you today dated May you reduced me to the rank of Captain in the address which was a funny thing to do darling And you did not call me darling or send love + kisses But thank goodness my letters had started again - 6 in one week as you say it is tantalising And I never received your calls to say you had had no letters from me for over 6 weeks I wonder if you sent it C.N.F. or whatever it is they are just useless + a waste of a bad

Last edit about 1 year ago by MaryV
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5/ And then the news about Amy - she really is a fool it is obviously another mistake - + she must surely realise that Geoffrey Dawson is a rather unkind + very selfish young man - he has those two bad qualities of Vernon's + very little of Vernon's chasm - is also rather boring + silly which Vernon never is what a girl- I should have thought Christopher was better Wretched C- I feel sorry for him Has he done anything wrong in particular ? or has Geoffrey just swept her off her feet? It was just like her to forget that you were soon to have a baby + suggest coming to stay with you until her silly affairs are in order I hope you havent softened your heart + allowed her to come anywhere near you - she would only worry + annoy you. I am dying to have a cable from you preferably with the news about the baby- but if not that with news about how you are + when you expect something to happen As you have said darling one this war has something to answer for if only that you have had to have two babies alone without your lawful wedded husband to support + help you And especially when we think of the summer when you were having Lisa that lovely 2 weeks at Llandudno after my illness we made love every after noon + every night the whole two weeks Marvelous days the only blot do you remember? was when you had a letter from the young man in the rep. coy with whom you had been supposed to be having lunch in London your letters were our one trouble that summer I was very jealous but you must admit it was annoying- you were a bit annoying + bloody independent about it all! And I remember so clearly meeting Gordon + Eileen

Last edit 8 months ago by MaryV
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6/ in [?] that night - love again when we were in bed- very carefully + very gently You were sweet to me my darling You must have been so lonely + cold in bed all these months poor sweetheart And then the drive to Horsforth I cannot remember either why it was the Wolsely + not the Ford I think the Ford must have been broken or in for repair for remember Keyon's ^car brought you + Lisa back from the home Those were very happy days I hope + pray you will be rewarded + compensated with an easy time this time If only Lisa + I could be with you Oh darling you are quite right I should have gone to the General about coming out here What with compassionate grounds + my transfer to the 7" all lined up + Zag wanting me I would have stood quite a good chance And we were foolish to think you might get out here it is (1) A.I.M.N.S. only I too hope to have some words with Bramley Davenport when I come home I keep saying that I will tell you about this barracks but there is much that I cannot + may not say + in any case it is not so interesting But it is very large + vast + I am master of all I survey + in addition to being O.C. my own Coy I am now O.C. the Barracks too this entails much more responsibility + work but no more pay I am afraid But it is all the more limelight + so all to the good- unless I make a mess of things Wednesday May 21st I'm afraid I dried up rather abruptly last night But I fell to thinking about you + things

Last edit over 2 years ago by LibrarianDiva
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7 + then felt sleepy + so went to bed I seem to have dried up rather in my letter writing capabilities But so little of interest to you seems to be happenng to me nowadays sometimes there are things but they seem so trivial + unimportant + I'm afraid of you being bored with my letters but perhaps I had better risk such things + at least it will be more for you to read from me + about me Also I seem to be so dreamy nowadays + I just sit for ages gazing at your photographs + at the blank wall in front of me + wondering about you + what you are doing + thinking of the past + imagining or doing my best to the future and I never waste any time nowadays by dropping off to sleep in that bad way which I used to at home Except the other evening when I went off into a hell of a doze after dinner But I had three spanking Plymouth Gins before beer with + brandy after dinner + it was a very small cabin + no window (or port hole) open at all on account of the black out just a fan churning up the foul air + four men all smoking hard And the conversation became very dull + nautical Poor but I enjoyed it all the same There was another Naval Commander there who I know quite well + a little Major from the Royal Engineers who used to be in the 7th Bn years ago + before my time We finally went out into the town for some beer where I had not enough money to buy a round so that was fine the other commander was R.N.R. that is reserve + was in the film business in civil life I had been talking to him previously about British Dominion Films + their foul shares He said they were the most awful camp

Last edit over 2 years ago by LibrarianDiva
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8/ like several other of those film companies the same man also paid me a nice compliment For a time I had been finding some fairly important guards which had to do with him Changes were being made + he appently got a bit browned off with being pushed about + told the Army H.Q. people here that if Massey wsa running it that was alright otherwise he would want to know a lot more about it So I said thank you very much The following night I went to the cinema with Moscaritz + his wife who wsa up for the week end The film was Remember with Robert Taylor + Greer Garson It was very amusing indeed + lovely You remember I saw her for the first time in "Pride + Prejudice" in Capetown + was very much impressed She seems so intelligent + has so much poise in both of which she is like you my darling- though you are not at all alike to look at I think I must bring this rather disjointed letter to an end now + send it away to you in the morning I do pray that I hear from you about the baby in a day or two + then I really will be able to write to you Everything will be alright but I am even so terribly anxious + nervous You have had so much to bear in the last 1 1/2 years + you must not be asked to bear any more You sweet darling why should you of all people have to And I love you so very much + nothing must go wrong to hurt you or to hurt the baby You are everything + nobody which would or could make me stay alive if anything were to happen to you Bless you sweetest for all you have done for me For making me so happy Harry xxxx

Last edit over 2 years ago by LibrarianDiva
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Letter No 44 Friday. 23 May. Major J.H. Massey, 6 Palestinian Coy, The Buff, Middle East Forces My darling Barbara - I cannot settle down to write a letter, or to do anything else for that matter, until I hear the news from you. I thought it was bad enough when I was hanging about Arthington & Horsforth. & as bad as it could be when I was in Chater. But here, it is impossible. It all may have happened, & I may not know for days. I had your 18th letter today, telling me of all that Hughes was doing for you, & I feel very confident that all will be well but I am very anxious & jumpy, my darling. You have been tough so much, sweetheart, & I konw you will be frightened. Its is hellish. I know I could do so much to help you if I was there, with you. I always feel happy & proud & thankful that I am able to comfort you when you are distressed or frightened. I would give anything in the world to be with you, if only I could be, just for a few days. I could make your mind easier & make you forget about what was coming. I should talk to you & listen to you, & fetch & carry for you.

even do a silly danse for you, to make you laugh. And I would make tea for you & "create" a supper for you. And I would undress you, pull your stokings & knicks off & unclip you BB & kiss you in all the places. Oh darling angel, I can feel you & smell you as I write this. And then I would bath you & dry you & then we would lie in bed, wrapped up & very close & you would feel very content, wouldn't you, sweethest ? If only this could have been allowed to happen. I know it would all make such a difference to you, & I would so love to be able to comfort & help you. I'm thinking & hoping all the time for you, darling. That Hughes will be really wonderful & that you will not know too much about it & then your worries will be over & you will have something to live for & to work for again. Darling, dearest Barbara, you do know & realise how much I love you, don't you ? Because it is just all & everything of me, & every ounce of my heart & soul. I do want you to really want my love, & then to realise

Last edit 22 days ago by jaxdnaquest
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how deep and passionate & ever lasting it is. I have a tremendous, really tremendous, feeling of pride & consuming satisfaction when I realise that someone as nice & wondeful lovely as you are loves me. And I do hope that you feel something like that too. All my heart & mind is with you these days, darling. God bless & keep you. I'm having to work excessively hard at the moment, for which I'm thankfull. I finished at 10:30 tonight. But I did manage to slip away for 1 1/2 hours late this afternoon, & have a gorgeous bath at a sandy beach near here. My first bath this year, & my first time in the Mediterranean since St Maxime, with you in your yellow costume, & our room in "Les Palmiers" just near _ & "War & Peace" a few yards away on the sand. You haven't mentionned that holiday, but don't you often think of it? I will write a letter or another of those or an Aerograph, or all three - very soon. All my love for always - & bless the baby. xxx Harry

Last edit 22 days ago by jaxdnaquest
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Letter No 46 Wednesday -28 May Major J.H. Massey 6- Palestinian Coy. The Buffs Middle East Force My darling precious- I wrote + sent off to you this afternoon an Air Mail letter card + now I must get down to things + write you a decent long letter But as I said this afternoon I cannot think at all while I am waiting for your news I just have not the heart to prattle on But I know you will want as much + as many letters from me as possible + so I must do my best + try to be as interesting as I can- Then when your good news arrives I shall just burst + I hope not be able to stop writing Another of your older letters popped up the day before yesterday the time your no 16 of Dec 10th just 5 1/2 months It bears a Middle East A.P.O. stamp 3d March + may very easily have been around these parts long before that - so you see again what that address has done for us It was in perfectly good condition + might just have done an ordinary journey from London to Bradford - so I am still hoping for nos 2, 3 ,4 , 6, 8, 9 , 10, 11 12, 17, 24, 27, ^28 + 30 to arrive they must constitute so much to me to have them Your letter was from Bishops start ford + said you enclosed a photo of the party one week end but you did not enclose it darling I do wish you wouldn't be such a one at forgetting things as I have been looking forward for ages to having some new photos of you But perhaps it will be in your 17th letter which is still to come I started this before dinner + have just returned There is a perfect new moon which I gazed at + changed my money over + as you can guess it was not difficult to know what to wish for Oh but I hope for news tomorrow Thursday May 29th And that was as far as I could get last night I wa feeling so hopelessly miserable + sleepy + anxious + I was just reading some of your old letters + looking at the wall in front of me + I was in bed at 10.30 And now it is 7.15 in the morning + there has been another air raid alarm this morning to get me up earlier than usual And so I will work a bit more before getting washed + shaved + properly

Last edit over 2 years ago by LibrarianDiva
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