Friday, 24 December 2010

Tom Critchley to his niece Molly Platt December 25th 1940


My Dear Mollie,

People have obeyed instructions and posted their cards early this year; this morning, Christmas – the postwoman (it's a she now) brought only two things to our house, one was the receipt for the coal bill & the other was your delightful calendar. I think you have done it beautifully & I hope you will be able to come and see it adorning our dining room and recalling pleasant memories of happy holidays.
So low has our opinion of the huns sunk, we quite expected they would come and see us, but evidently they still regard world opinion to some very slight degree & have left us in peace.
What sort of books do you like these days? I gave Tom the "Herries Chronicles" by Walpole, I should think it is still a bit old for you, it is of particular interest to those who know the Lake District. There are 4 books bound in one volume.
Talking of books, tell you mother & father to bed borrow or steal "Jonathan North" by Hudson. It's a book about a goodly Lancashire Lad and truly depicts life in the Manchester district. It's Good!!
What sort of a Christmas have you had? Quieter, I expect, than when you were taught how not to behave by my offspring, that Christmas we all met at St Helens; perhaps we will all meet again when this spot of bother is over & Ronald can drape himself in his arab dress for our benefit & tell us about all the exciting things he has seen.
We have been exceptionally quiet, bad tummies & Christmas should never be mixed, it's the height of foolishness to try. I speak from experience.
By the way, have you read Morton's "In the Steps of the Master", if you haven't, you ought to, I'm sure you would enjoy it. Ronald has it with him in Palestine and finds it most helpful. All Morton's travel books are good & well worth reading, there are no dry facts and he puts information into the pleasantest manner.
When I got to that part of your letter about the nativity play in which you said you were an angel, I got a shock until I remembered there were two sorts of angels, heavenly and .......
& that heavenly angels don't have such vulgar things as human parts on which to sit requiring a soft seat, lest they should feel discomfort. A long winded way of stating a simple fact of anatomy.
On Sunday night we had visitors for tea & we had hardly finished when the sirens went. I told these folks that when the guns started it wasn't our raid, but I don't think they believed me. By now we can tell fairly well by the sound of the gun fire, whose turn it is to be entertained. Of course they have to drop a bomb or two around London no matter where else they go, but that is nothing like a proper do. Anyhow, these folks decided to go home about 8.00 pm; just as they opened the front door they got a shock, the place lit up and a good hefty banging started. So they came back to wait for things to calm down a bit. If you aren't used to it, it does come as a shock in a pitch dark night, if you happen to be near the guns and it so happened that night there was a mobile gun about 50 yards from our front door. It's a pity they come over this way on their way to Lancashire, Birmingham and Bristol, but as I say, we can usually tell if they are trying to bomb us or somebody else & if we think they are entertaining somewhere else, we don't worry at all now. Tom took them home in the car. He stayed with us that night and a good job too, as the next morning he found the place where he usually sleeps full of broken glass due to a bomb dropped near.
I'm afraid this letter hasn't got posted, so I'll see what I can do today. Jerry called on us last night and set up a few fires, but they were quickly got under. It was a half-hearted effort on his part & was all over by 11.
I am enclosing some of Ronald's letters, will you please return them after reading.
Love to you & your Mater and Pater
Uncle Tom and Auntie Annie
For you information Kevin and Forest are blokes who went out to Palestine with Ronald.
Skipper is an army captain, a particular chum of R's. August is their car driver.
A Happy New Year to you all & may it bring Peace. 

No comments:

Post a Comment