23rd August 1943

 On board ship off the North African coast

My Dearest Olive,

 The weather has now become very warm and the sea is beautifully blue and very calm. We are all wearing our tropical kit and I got my knees rather sun burnt yesterday. In fact, I overdid it slightly and they were painful for a time. However they feel alright today. I seem to be slightly cured of my constipation but my cold has got rather worse. These conditions are not very good for the curing of a cold – our portholes have to be tightly closed at night time and in consequence, we all wake up in the morning feeling very heavy in the head. We have had warnings of the danger of malaria, and every second day we take a tablet which is similar to quinine and today we are being issued with mosquito nets and mosquito cream. Apparently the problem of malaria is steadily growing and it is spreading all over the world.

 Last night, there was quite an amusing ship’s concert which was held on the top deck. The four of us play a lot of bridge. Aubrey and Myles are both extremely good players quite up to the standard of Eric Meredith so it produces some hard and interesting struggles.

 This is a Dutch ship and very well organised. The stewards’ work is done by Javanese boys and very good they are, very cheerful and willing.There is an Officer Commander Troops on Board, a Lieut. Colonel, a permanent Adjutant and staff. There are a large number of officers, veterans of the last war who are presumably going out to administrative jobs. There are quite a number of fairly newly commissioned officers.

 Well, dear heart, I must close now in order to post ‘this letter’ in time. Write as often as you can and if you are allowed to send me newspaper cuttings of items of interest. Remember, I love you more than anything in the world and will always do so, my own sweet darling wife.

 Give Valerie a very big kiss from her Dad. I hope the dogs are well. I expect they were delighted to see you back.

Your devoted husband


Read letter of 27 August 1943


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