At the end of 1941, Tom Critchley's son was posted to Swansea to study radio location and radar techniques. Here is a letter from his fiance.
53 Buckingham Avenue,
I felt I had to write this to you to tell you how much I am missing you already. Anyway, we have something to look forward to, our marriage, I am seriously thinking of buying some white material, in fact I nearly bought it, but thought I better wait and see how much I want. The office went quite well this morning – I wish I could live there – really I do – with plenty of work to last for the next few months. I told them all we would be getting married and I was so emphatic, that Marjorie thought it would be next week! They have decided to start a "Margaret" fund to be deducted from pay for the next few months. Have you warned your mother and father about it? It would not do to spring it on them.
I have just written to Auntie May, Doug and Colin, to tell them the news. I said I thought you might be writing to them later ( D & C I mean). If there is anything you want, just write and ask for it and I will either send it on or arrive by return post myself.
I feel this change will be for the best in the end, as the change of air should certainly do you good. You must go for plenty of walks if possible and not do too much reading or writing.
I received two more presents today. A blue scarf from Miss Bond and a book token for 10/6 from Eileen and Lily. so you must help me choose my books. Remember I have the 5/- one as well. Have you any idea of the subject? No Egyptian mummies or temples please.
I have just had a lovely idea. Now that you know more about the wireless – what about our own receiving sets? Just you and me – to tune in at any time and at any part of the the day. On second thoughts, perhaps we can do away with the materials of an ordinary wireless, don't you think so?
Shandy (a part labrador and part spaniel mongrel dog) is very restless tonight and has been all the week, as you probably know. I expect it was that walk last Sunday which put new vigour into him.
If possible, perhaps you can phone me on Sunday evening at about 8pm, as it is then that I shall feel most lonely – the weekends I mean – and probably you will too.
Your mother heard today from Mrs Lockheart. Apparently Dennis hopes to be home sometime in March, so perhaps Ronald will be home at the same time. But as no reply has been received to the cable, it looks as if he is on his way now.
I shall post this immediately I hear from you. I do hope you will be very comfortable and make many friends there.
Well it was nice to hear from you to-night and it was hard to believe that you were all that distance away – it was so clear, almost as if you were in the next room. Then, because I thought about that, a lump came into my throat. I don't know if people are trying to cheer me up, but they say "You will miss him. Cheer up, keep smiling!" Well, you know how I feel, I would rather they said nothing about you.
I am very glad you have a good billet and that you are happy. Perhaps you can manage to get home at weekends sometime because 16 weeks seems a long time.
As I told you on the phone, I shall probably be fire watching at the office tomorrow night as Miss Zuigg was on sick leave again today.
I have had another present today (21st Birthday). Mrs Moore of Station Road has given me a biscuit barrel (a wooden one – pure elm) It is really lovely and will go beautifully with the other wooden articles, and also with the sideboard,
I am hoping to see you ever so soon
PS It is now Friday 10'clock and I have not received your letter yet. Mother will open it and let me have your address. I was only thinking today that it might be as well to address some of my letters to this office, as the postman never comes before 9am at home. The office address is as follows:
Finance Branch, Home counties Regional Headquarters, The Grange, 3 Hendon Avenue, Finchley N 3.
Any letter you think will arrive during the morning perhaps could be sent to the office address.