September 15 1939

By September 1940, the Battle of Britain had been going on for a couple of months, and the nightly bombing of London, the Blitz, had started. The fighting was confined to the air forces on both sides, and the German bombers were known as ‘the Jerries’, a holdover from World War One. Beyond that, I do not know which ‘Jerry’ he is referring to, although I presume Cynthia understood what bit of propaganda he is addressing. (Any knowledgeable reader, please advise.)

2363483 Sigmn Sheedy. J.R. 28 T.M Section, No. 2 Coy. 2 Corps Signals

Home Forces


Dear Jerry,

Your remarks concerning a postman ex-angler give me food for thought.  I note that he considers you: (a) gay, (b) fearless, and (c) independent.  Obviously, to pass such judgements as these, he must have spent considerable time in your company.  The adjective gay may be taken as complimentary and interests me not one jot (or one tittle).  The ‘fearless’ and ‘independent’ require more attention.  They suggest a personal knowledge of your behaviour in air-raids.  This suggests so many things that I am cleaning and oiling my rifle for my next leave.  Let the ‘postal sugar-daddy’ beware!  He would trifle with a good girl’s feelings. We shall see whether his blood is Royal Mail or Yellow Ochre.

Kindly give my regards to Doc Ewing.  I would wish these treasures to be delivered verbally by you, as my literary style is of the modern persuasion and might chance to be misunderstood.  Also (kindly) give my regards to Mrs Ewing.  I leave you to decide the method.  

Have you read “Present Indicative”?  (Noel Coward’s autobiography).  It’s good.  His frankness is appalling, yet appealing.  For instance, his entry into a nursing home was referred to by the Press as being necessitated by a “minor ailment”.  He informs the reader that an operation for Piles was the reason for this step.  

At the end of the book is reproduced the Toast Speech from “Cavalcade”.  I remember when I saw the film of Cavalcade I was particularly impressed by this.  I don’t suppose you were, (or am I wrong) but here goes:-

“Let’s couple the Future of England” with the “Past of England”.  The glories, and victories and triumphs that are over, and the sorrows that are over too.  Let’s drink to our sons who made part of the pattern, and to our hearts that died with them.  Let’s drink to the spirit of gallantry and courage that made a strange Heaven out of unbelievable Hell, and let’s drink to the hope that one day this country ours which we love so much will find dignity , and peace, and greatness again.”

I suppose one might dub it ‘slush’ but somehow it just gets me.  Latent streak of patriotism rears its’ ugly head. 

Thanks for the heather.  I’ve just put it in a little pocket it my Pay-Book.  Our section officer received some by the same post.  He showed it to me, and it wasn’t heather.  He seemed rather annoyed when I produced mine and compared it with his sickly ‘flora’.

I have a favour to ask of you.  I’ve recently grown very sick of the galaxy of female photographs adorning the walls of our sleeping quarters.  I would like to be able to look at the above display with enjoyment, not nausea.  I think one of your photographs would fill the bill.  Could you possibly oblige, or is it asking too much?  Anyway, here’s hoping.

Inspiration has fled



P.S. ‘Spinster’s Club’- Pah! It smells.

Authentic heather. White is supposed to be lucky!

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