Letters, diaries and photographs from World War II

Letter 1st October 1945

Wharncliffe Gardens



It was a most upsetting phone call last night. Why were you silent? Why couldn’t you tell me straight out? Why didn’t your mother tell me? Are you all aftraid of what I might do? Do I generally do things that distress you?

Your mother is going to the Dumb Friends’ League tomorrow and Russell will bring the result with him on Tuesday. He will leave Paddington on the 10.40 which gets to Minehead before 4pm I gather, though no one seems quite sure.

Your mother says she’ll have Jake up here for you till he’s better. You must decide what’s best. She says till Russell arrives give him Yeast-Vite tablets.

Before we drop the subject it would seem to me that you worry more about my reactions to the dog’s illness than to the dog, whereas I’m conccerned with your distress not the dog’s, and that with these hysterical turns he may hurt you or Anthony. Of course I’ve never seen Jake hysterical. He may be quite harmless, in which case I’ve nothing to worry about. You know, there is something wrong. even cruel, about close in-breeding that develops the handsome dogs at the expense of their health.

I had a letter fromm Girlie yesterday. Ray is out and is coming to London to be demobbed on Tuesday. Anyway he’s going to ring me and I hope to see him and tell him about the difficulty of getting myself out etc., I ‘ll let you know all the stuff when I get it.

Oh., Darling, while I think of it please look up my Driving Licence so that I can try and get it renewed.

I’ve just been to church with your mother and Russell. It was Harvest Thanksgiving and was almost like old times. Among other we met was Mrs.Carmen. Her son is seven years old and she didmc know what school he should go to. Of course I said “Boarding School” but she was quite sure she couldn’t stand it but was definitely concerned that I thought so. I bet he’s a proper “only boy”. Of course she asked after you and Anthony as did everyone else. We also saw Mrs.Roe and your mother and I consider that she has definite designs on Maurice and David.

I had a sore throat on Friday and it has been developed into a slight chill. I think I successfully broke it up by aspirin treatment on Friday and Saturday nights.

I managed to get a tablet of Wright’s Coal Tar Soap for your hands and another that your mother got on my coupons.

Well it’s time I went to bed as it was late last night.

Goodnight my sweetheart. Take great care. And I don’t want to hear you sobbing over the phone again.

All my love is yours my Darling, and Anthony’s.

I love you and I’m your own,

Johnnie xxxx

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Not to be reproduced without permission
johnfinal.jpgJanie Askew

John's wife

johnfinal.jpgAnthony Askew
First son of John and Janie

johnfinal.jpgRussell Barker Janie's Brother
johnfinal.jpgGirlie Askew

John's younger sister

johnfinal.jpgMaurice Askew

John's younger Brother

johnfinal.jpgStephen Barker

Janie's Cousin

johnfinal.jpgEvelyn Barker

Stephen Barker's wife

davidfinal.jpgDavid Barker

Janie's cousin

freda.jpgFreda Cobley

Janie's cousin