From a troopship, July 1945
The place – he’s in a troopship on the way;
the why? long journey home, he fills each day
recalling memories of years abroad
in war, his toil peripheral, and stored
in mind because of censorship, but now
writes to the one to whom he made a vow
while there in midst of conflict when her ‘yes’
had sealed a waiting hope in midst of stress;
details of daily circumstances were
then by necessity withheld from her:
impressions of these years he must record
– adjures she cease to read if she is bored!:
so eager and impatient to get home
this writing seems to speed the journey on.
He left these shores in Nineteen forty-one
just twenty-four in age, service begun –
North Africa with infiltrating sand,
then Palestine and India; Burma – land
of driving bumpy war-torn jungle ‘roads’,
hard toil and some comradely episodes.
He died in ’sixty-nine, and later on
I read this interesting letter long
– my father then as young as I was now
describing how he felt, what he went through,
and his anticipation of the sight
of home and family and friends – delight,
especially of one to be his wife,
an end to separation, and war-strife.
[IP: coming home]
A number of years ago I made a start at trying to summarise the letter, which was completed after getting back to this country:
We long ago scanned it as it was fading, but now I am typing it up as it is so readable, I think my children might be fascinated at reading the words of their grandad (or, rather ‘Dadcu’) (whom they never knew) written when he was around their age!