Saturday, 14 July 2012

Letters from Cletus 11

Time for the penultimate 'Letter from Cletus'. This one talks about the climactic Battle of London and what happens to Cletus and the Prof.

Dear Mr & Mrs Carter,
My name is Professor Jolyon Peregrine Montmorency Mountjoy but I believe your son, Cletus, usually refers to me as the Prof. No doubt you will have heard what happened to Cletus through official channels but I felt I couldn't leave it at that. So here is the story of that fateful day.

We had just arrived at our assigned sector in London when we encountered a German tank company probing our defences. Our tanks covered both flanks, our centre was held by artillery and an infantry company started to take up position in the buildings on our left. The German dispositions mirrored our own. The initial exchanges were inconclusive but as the German armour moved forward on our right flank the fire from our tanks destroyed the bulk of their unit forcing the rest to withdraw. Fire from our artillery and air support had knocked out their 88's as well leaving their left flank undefended.

Sadly things were not going so well on our left flank. Our infantry became pinned by enemy fire and the Germans moved up their infantry and assaulted. After a savage struggle our troops were forced back only for them to be wiped out to the last man by machine gun fire. Luckily our tanks on the right had swiftly moved forward to exploit the opening left by the retreating Germans. Seeing their flank about to be turned the Germans pulled back and we were victorious.

It was a few hours later that fate took a hand. The Russian officers had been joined by the sector commanders for a strategy meeting. I was there to help translate if needed and of course Cletus was there to keep me safe. The meeting had barely started when a German soldier burst in on us and started firing. He must have been left behind when the Germans pulled back. Everyone hit the floor and the guards returned fire mortally wounding the German but as he fell he threw a grenade at us. The cramped confines of the room meant that the blast would be devastating. It was then that Cletus saved us all. He grabbed his back pack and dived onto the grenade using his pack and his body to shield us. It was the bravest and most noble thing I have ever seen.

I was wounded in the explosion and passed out. When I awoke in the Aid Station Cletus was nowhere to be seen. I asked where he had been taken and was told that he had been very badly wounded and had been evacuated to a Field Hospital. The intense fighting in London has necessitated large numbers of the wounded be moved out of London and because of this I have been unable to determine whether Cletus' survived or not. I realise it may be unkind of me to ask but no doubt you will have heard of Cletus' fate from your War Department. I beg you to write me as soon as possible if you have so I may know whether to grieve or rejoice. Although I know that it will be of little consolation if the news is bad but Cletus has been submitted for a medal due to his selfless heroism.

I must close now as I have to write to Mary so she may learn what has happened to her husband. It is not a task I am relishing

Your obedient servant,
Jolyon Mountjoy

Tomorrow's post will see the fate of Cletus revealed.

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