December 16, 1943
I am very glad to get your letter of Nov 30. Dad and I do thank you for your nice Christmas gift of 2 pounds. We will soon get a notice from the post office about it. I also got a notice several weeks ago for 1.2.4 pounds, but we haven't heard who sent it. I can only think of Aunt Ada sending it.
I would like to have sent the children presents but we cannot get the strings here - really it doesn't seem a bit like Christmas, no decoration in the shops and much worse than last winter. We have made sure of a plumb pudding, no icing on it. We cannot get icing sugar. Our ration is a half pound per week, but the last 2 months we can have extra sugar instead of jam. That's why we could make cake and pudding.
Well dears, we've heard no more about our dear boy. We pray he is safe some place. God bless him! How proud and happy we were to have him with us, the only one of our grandchildren and he being a nice-looking boy and so clean. I often thought what nice hands he always had. He was rather particular. I was very glad to see him, and like you say Ern, you would like to know some of his experiences. He told me of how the enemy fighters even came to meet them when they were nearing the target. He said, "I dare not even blink my eyes. I had to keep on firing as fast as I could. Believe me we have something to do."
I know Ern, poor Harry dreaded it more and more. It made me feel so sorry every time I heard them go over. He told me they had to turn back twice on account of engine trouble. Harry told me he volunteered to come overseas. I know he wished many times he had not, but it's no use now us thinking of all that. I lie awake hours thinking of all he's' doing and wondering where the dear boy is, but we must keep on praying and trusting. I know Ern, you advised him for the best, but one of my nephews has just registered for air-gunner. His father is very put out about it and said it was the very last thing he wanted his boy to do, and he's the only child he's got. I'm thinking there are many more like it. Well Ern, I do pray your anxiety may soon be relieved with good news. We must just have patience.
Well, Christmas is nearing. There will be just us four. We hope to make it as happy as possible during these awful times. Dad and I keep well. Dad sends much love to you and big kisses for Billy and Betty. Ern, you won't make off with the negative of Harry will you, because I would like to give Chas and Doris a picture each as I promised.
Yes Ern, I'm sure it's a good thing you're a busy man. It certainly keeps your mind from this trouble. In this case we must do our best. I think I have told you we got sirens and enemy aircraft over here the time Harry was here on his leaves. He used to try and cheer us up, but I was always thankful no bombs were dropped while he was here. He said once, "I wish I had my machine gun here." I think I told you Harry bought Dad a box of cigars. Now Dad says I don't feel I'd like to smoke them.
Thanks Ern for the papers, ‘The Passing Show'. You look older in the picture. Your hair is getting thin on top, but you don't look the worse. I enjoy reading them. It will be nice for you to have Ruth home for Christmas and Howard. I hope Ruth makes good.
Now I must close for now. God Bless you and give you strength .
Love from your ever loving Mother and Dad.