Dad’s Letters – January to March 1946

2014-06-19 08.56.06

This is the picture of my mother that Dad took with him to Palestine

So this is it; Dad goes overseas. In this last in the series of the letters before he reaches Palestine, he goes training in Wales; is scathing about Brecon; tells us the winter of 45/46 was foul and wet; describes what it is to be jumping over Salisbury Plan and at peace with the world; and deals with the frustrations and ennui that attends his much postponed departure. He even includes a description of the talk he received on the dangers of VD and the small pox problem that delayed his departure.

Some points to note:

  • SWALK – sealed with a loving kiss
  • 36 – a 36 hour pass
  • sweet Fanny Adams –
  • DZ – dropping zone
  • plain – Salisbury Plain, hom of, amongst other things, Stonehenge

For the next in the series, Palestine, I will change the approach and copy, as PDFs, the letters so you can see the originals. Partly that is  a function of time (there are 75 that he wrote while overseas), partly to give you a change and partly because his record will now form part of the Paratroop Regiment’s permanent record and this is the easiest way to make sure they have the originals. I have posted the first for you already under the new page ‘Dad in Palestine’. Hope you enjoy them.

And finally, a poem from his frustrated period in barracks, another frustration of the fighting man – the jobsworth:

Psalm of the Pay Clerk

The day I left old Pudsey

I never thought I’d be

A mucker of the CSM

Pay clerk – two IC.

Of course I work extremely hard

– I fetch his tea at ten –

And it’s really manual labour

‘Cos it’s a very heavy pen.

I have lots of ink and paper

A desk all on my own

And old Dick says that one day

I might even use the ‘phone!

The amount the chaps get paid

All depends on me

Yes, I’m really quite important

Pay clerk – two IC!!!


About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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5 Responses to Dad’s Letters – January to March 1946

  1. lucciagray says:

    Lovely picture of your mother!


  2. willowdot21 says:

    Wonderful words and pictures. I love your dad’s poem.


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