Letters, diaries and photographs from World War II

Same again

31st January 1946

My own darling,

It was grand to hear your voice over the phone last night and now I’ll tell you what started it.

On Tuesday your mother started fretting and was quite sure there was something wrong with you particularly as you hadn’t written for a week—I explained that your last letter was Friday and that I only expected one a week but when she gets a bee in her bonnet, well, you know what it’s like.

Then last night came your letter and she was simply dancing around wanting to know what was in it and I was misguided enough to tell her that you had felt seedy but the part of the letter dated Tuesday said that you were ok again, and then, another blunder, I said that Anthony was sleeping with you.

From this she decided that her premonitions were correct and that you must both be hospital cases and that she must ring up straight away.

Your poor old father had to do the phoning (hence his attitude of pulling embers out of the fire) and when I see him on his own again I’ll tell him what you told me to tell him.

I believe you fully understood why my language was so guarded. At the same time I was trying to make it sound casual—your mother’s ears were particularly flapping or is it trembling?

I think your mother wonders why I don’t worry about you. She thinks I’m reserved and cold. Well, if I was working she wouldn’t be any the wiser. But I don’t worry sweetheart because I have complete confidence in you. I’m quite sure that if you are in difficulty you’ll let me know. You couldn’t have made such a thunderingly good job of the past five years if you weren’t very capable.

At the same time darling I know that this last bit is dragging and the burden isn’t made any lighter by our impatience—I’m just as impatient as you and Anthony. The last month with you was very lovely in spite of being spent in a home other than our own. I don’t think you took such a rosy view of it as I did but in our own home it’s going to be just wizard.

You know darling I have been thinking recently, taken by and large, how lucky we have been and how, ever since I have known you our little lives have worked out more or less to plan, and how we have been able to meet all our difficulties with something in hand. We got married two years before we anticipated, acquired a nice little optical business then along comes the way and instead of losing anything we have gained a home, a son, no debts and a lot of experience. This is why I can’t bring myself to be worried about the future: the National Health, Insurance, atomic bombs and so on. Our Lord was evidently helping us before and I don’t think he’s going to stop now do you? And that s one of the reasons I hope that you, my love, will give me another child when the time comes.

But you’ll think this is a funny letter so I’ll get on to more usual topics.

Supposing I am released about the middle of March I can see no reason why we should book up a holiday in advance, just go along and get in anywhere. I’m sure it will be vey easy although if we can make up our minds in advance it would be much better.

A short paragraph in the Express this morning informs 26 groups of officers that they are like t be held up for a further four months. Looks as though I’m just on the right side this time.

I’m taking my parade this afternoon so I’m killing time till  3pm in the Mess and so you, my darling, are getting a rather longer letter.

No beach hut this year sweetheart, let’s save or pennies so we can get that car.

I shall apply for the leave dates I mentioned originally, the 23rd, I think i can manage to wait a few days for you my sweetheart though I admit it will be difficult.

Take great care my sweetheart. I love you so much. My love also to Anthony

And I’m still your very own,

Johnnnie 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