Letters, diaries and photographs from World War II

Wharncliffe Gardens

24th September 1945

My Darling,

How glad I was to hear your voice over the telephone last night. I really was tremendously cheered. I do feel Darling that you handled the situation vey well. It couldn’t have been done better. The situation for you of course would have been intolerable, one person doing the cash and one the books.

CP certainly told her a thing or two, something he can do in  o uncertain manner if he has to. So be magnanimous in your victory. I’m sure you have been. You know, I’m rather proud of your effort. It only remains for you to prove to the others your efficiency and everything in the garden will be better than ever.

It’s lousy news about the demob of officers isn’t it darling? Snag after snag, it rally is most disappointing. And at the same time they are making it more and more difficult for the young lads to become officers and at the same time not allowing certain regulars to continue their commissioned services for a year or two.

Still, if this compassionate posting comes off all may be well as the course I’m taking will at the present rate of progress last into April 1946.

I’m hoping that in time you’ll be able to cut down the amount of work you do in the shop and be able to come and stay up here from time to time.

Dr.Bain’s letter has not come to hand so he must be giving it a great deal of thought. I’m wondering what line he’s going to take as he knows you’re staying in Minehead at the moment. 

I have just arrived home and found Dr.Bain’s letter waiting for me. It’s quite well done.

He says “There is no doubt that your wife’s health has suffered in your absence. The responsibility of a somewhat difficult child without your health and advice was rather more than she was equal to. No serious damage has been done in her case but you should use every effort to remain in this country where you can supervise your household and give her the support she needs.”

Well, from his point of view it is a masterpiece. But it leaves me quite a lot of work to do. Keep your fingers crossed ny dear.

Not only do I have to go to my lecture on Wednesday but I’ve got to double back and go on duty on Wednesday evening . Then on Thursday afternoon I’m one of the official time keepers at the Sports Day at Woolwich.

I haven’t found a good school bag yet and the prices are fantastic for the junk they represent so I’m still looking.

Could you please send my “old flannels” and razor strop please darling. Oh yes, and could you cut a little bit off the inside of the sleeve off your new shirt so that I can try and get a blouse for it or would you rather leave it till you come to town.

I don’t exactly hurry back here these days but get off the train at Baker Street and walk through the park. I spent most of the weekend swatting but went out for a couple of hours on Saturday on the bike and had an hour’s stroll on Sundayover Priumrose Hill. By myself on both occasions. I felt lonely. I’ve kind of got used to having you around. Still, the end sometimes appears in sight and every day is one day nearer so “chins up” and let’s keep that big smile.

I do so love you my sweetheart and bed is so cold and empty without you.

All my love is yours and Anthony’s and I’m still 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