Friday 6 July 2012

Operation Sea Lion: Letters from Cletus 9

Time for another letter home from Cletus to his family. This one is a bit different.

Dear Ma & Pa,

Hope you are are all well. I'm fine, in fact I'm great, I'm terrific and everything's wonderful. I've met this girl, her name's Mary and she's a nurse at the hospital where the Prof was bring treated. Remember I told you I'd got a 48 hour pass to go see the Prof, well military hospitals don't like visitors cluttering up the place so you ain't allowed that long to talk. I'd planned to stay the night in the local army base and come back and see the Prof the next day before I headed back to my unit. But that ain't what happened.

My time visiting the Prof was up and Mary was just going off duty so she offered to show me the way out. As we were walking out she said she'd heard all about me from the Prof. Seems he couldn't get to sleep one night so Mary had sat and talked to him when she could. She said that night shifts are kinda boring when everyone's asleep and she was glad of someone to talk to. The Prof had told her all these stories about me and she'd wanted to meet me to see if they was all true. I told they probably was but I ain't really that dumb it's just that things go wrong around me sometimes. She just laughed and said she didn't think I was dumb at all, in fact she thought I was kinda sweet.

I didn't know what to say to that, you know how I git all tongue-tied around girls. So I asked her if she knew somewhere I could get a good meal. She said she did and told me to follow her. As we walked along she asked me how long it had been since I'd had a home cooked meal. I had to think, it seems like a whole world ago since I sat down to eat with you all. I worked it out and told her it had been about a year near as I could figure. So she said that was far too long and said it was about time I'd had some good English home cooked food and that she was going to cook me a meal. I told her she didn't need to do that what with the rationing making food scarce. She just said nonsense and that she wouldn't take no for an answer. She sure is a feisty little thing.

We soon got to her place, she called it a cottage. It was a cute little place with a big garden full of vegetables, she even had a few chickens out back. No sooner had we got inside than she shoo'd me out into the garden and told me to pick some peas and dig up a few potatoes. I had to laugh it was almost like being back home with you ordering us all about while you got to cooking. I brought the vegetables in and she set me to peeling and chopping while see busied her self about the kitchen. Before I knew it the meal was ready, it wasn't as good as your cooking Ma but it was still good to have a home cooked dinner.

After dinner we just sat and talked. I told her all about you and what it was like back home and growing up on a farm and she told me all about her family. Her Ma and Pa was killed in an air raid back near the start of the war. She does have a brother in the RAF though, but he was shot down and taken prisoner last year. The next thing we knew it was getting light, and we realised we'd talked through the whole night. I told her I better leave so she could get some sleep but she wouldn't hear of it and told me I could sleep in the spare room. So I did.

I woke up a few hours later to the smell of breakfast cooking. I went down stairs and found Mary in the kitchen. I hardly got through the door before she sat me down at the table and told to me to eat up. There was lots of good food but she had these black things she'd fried up called black pudding. I asked what they was but she said it was best not to ask so I didn't. The rest of the day is a bit of a blur. We went out into town and she showed me the sights and I bought us lunch in a restaurant. Then we went to see a new John Wayne film at the cinema.

Before I knew it, it was time for me to head back to base. Saying goodbye to her was real hard to do. I didn't want to go. But she told me to stop being silly and to get on the train. I turned to go but she grabbed me and gave me a big kiss right there on the platform. Then she told me that if I didn't write her every day I'd be in big trouble. I just said yes ma'am. I wanted to say more but the train started pulling out so I had to go. I got halfway back to base before I realised I'd completely forgotten about visiting the Prof again. I hope he forgives me.

I've written to Mary lots now and even seen her a few times when I could get a pass. I've enclosed a photo of her. It's not the best but you can she how she's real pretty. I've got to go now, I'll write you again next week.

Your loving Son,

P.S. How do you know when you've found the right one?

WWII Nurses!
Mary's the cute one on the right in the middle row.

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